Northern Ireland

Derry swimming coaches crowned unsung heroes

Two swimming coaches from Londonderry have been awarded BBC Northern Ireland's first ever unsung heroes "double act" title.

Seamus McAnee and Carmel Gorman have trained swimmers in the City Baths on William Street for almost 40 years.

Former competitive swimmer Ruth McLaughlin, who nominated them, said she felt they deserved recognition for their "massive contribution".

"They've taught thousands of Derry children to swim.

"Their dedication is just second to none."

Seamus McAnee said he appreciated the award, but paid tribute to the club's other volunteers.

"It's down to all these other people that help, and the parents that are prepared to get up at whatever time in the morning to bring their children to the pool.

"Competitive swimmers need the backing of their family, they couldn't do it without them.

"There's about 40 volunteers here, and we regard ourselves as a community club.

"We do the teaching and nobody gets any recompense, no remuneration except the satisfaction of seeing kids progress to their full potential."

Carmel Gorman agreed the award was a recognition of everyone involved in the club.

"Although Seamus and I are the people who would be well-known, we have people who volunteer their time from all parts of the city and from all walks of life.

"It's nice to be recognised, but at the end of the day it's about seeing the well-adjusted people swimming turns out.

"They learn an awful lot of values from their training. They learn to be disciplined, they learn to commit to things, and it's great to work with kids and see them get so much out of their swimming and then carry all those things over into the other parts of their lives as well.

"The City Baths in William Street are where most people in the city learnt to swim, but this award, this came totally out of the blue."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites