Unsung Hero: Two farmers from Llanrwst win Welsh title

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Jane Roberts and Nerys Ellis, the freestyle farmers are crowned this year's Welsh Unsung Hero 2015.

Jane Roberts and Nerys Ellis from Ysbyty Ifan near Betws-y-Coed, who have been running the Llanrwst Swimming Club for 32 years, have jointly won the BBC Wales Get Inspired Sports Unsung Hero award.

Both farmers and grandmothers in their 60s, the hours they spend at the club are all voluntary and their work does not end at the poolside.

Making the 24-mile round trip from their remote farms to the pool every week, they are involved with all aspects of organising, promoting and planning swimming classes for children and young people of all abilities as well as arranging gala events at the club.

"We had no idea we'd won. It was a complete shock but it's marvellous," said Ellis.

"It's vital that there is a local swimming club for the youngsters and that it continues as it doesn't matter where they are in the world, they need these skills".

Roberts added: "I never dreamt this would happen, I'm lost for words. I love teaching the children, especially my five-year olds, they are just lovely.

"I just want to thank the parents for nominating us."

Known as 'Auntie Jane' and 'Auntie Nerys', the pair have taught generations of local children to swim and gain their swimming badges, and their dedication means children and young people have had the opportunity to learn life-savings skills in a rural area which includes many lakes and rivers.

They have been championed by several parents including Dawn Claydon, a lifeguard at Llanrwst Swimming Club, who nominated them.

"They not only teach children to swim but also teach awareness and warn children of the dangers of deep water - these are life-long skills," she said.

"Their commitment is just outstanding and that's why I wanted to nominate them. I'm so thrilled they have won."

Roberts and Ellis will be recognised at the 2015 Wales Sport Awards on Monday, 7 December, before competing against other Unsung Heroes from Northern Ireland, Scotland and English regions for the BBC Get Inspired Sports Unsung Hero at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year event in Belfast on December 20.

The BBC Get Inspired Sports Unsung Hero Award recognises and rewards outstanding contribution by individuals at the grassroots level of local sport, who give up their time on a voluntary basis so that sport can be played and enjoyed by people throughout the UK. Over 150 Unsung Heroes have been honoured over the last decade.