Swim England

A nation swimming

David Finney named BBC West Midlands Unsung Hero

David Finney was recognised as BBC Sports Personality of the Year’s 2016 Unsung Hero for the West Midlands.

Although he is now an octogenarian, the coach and founder of Bridge Swimming Club in Redditch has retained his passion and enthusiasm for swimming.

Finney is an encouraging and supportive teacher and coach. He has helped countless children to reach their potential in the sport over the years.

Finney helped to launch the swimming club in Redditch in Worcestershire in 1972. When he retires early next year, he will have worked with the club for 45 years.

He also teaches youngsters at Redditch Swimming Club and is involved in coaching tennis and badminton in Selly Oak at the Stonehouse Gang Youth Group.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Finney said: “It’s a pleasure passing on skills, whether swimming, badminton, cricket or football.

“But really it was so gratifying just to be nominated. There are so many other people all very deserving of this award who have never even been nominated.

“And I have to thank the people at the Bridge Swimming Club, particularly Sue Robinson, who nominated me.”

West Midlands Olympian presented the award

Katherine Merry, Olympic bronze medallist at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, presented the award to Finney.

ASA Volunteer Engagement Manager Steph Matthews said:“It is fantastic to see volunteers like David being recognised with awards like these. It is a reminder of the hard work and dedication of all of the people who give up their time to help others in the aquatics community.

“David has lots of passion and enthusiasm when he is teaching his swimmers. Seeing this highlights how invaluable he and others like him are to our sport.”

Image credit: BBC Midlands Today Facebook