FOR dedicating more than 40 years of his life to swimming, Poole man Gordon Smart has received a national award from the Amateur Swimming Association.

The 81-year-old was presented with the ASA Services to Aquatics Award for his unwavering support and contribution to swimming at a glittering ceremony held at Leamington Spa.

Gordon began his involvement with the sport when his children learned to swim. His interest was fuelled when he was approached to join a group of parents in building a swimming pool for his local school in the early 1970s.

Over the years he has held many positions at Poole Swimming Club. He was instrumental in forming the club's Masters section and was also involved in setting up the inaugural ASA County Team Championships.

President of the club in 1986 and again in 2005, he is now a life president and has represented the club on the Dorset County Executive Swimming Committee for the last 35-years.

"Receiving this award is unbelievable," said Gordon. "I didn't expect it and it is truly wonderful."

Adam Paker, chief executive of the ASA said: "These awards are an opportunity for the ASA to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the aquatics community over the past 12 months from athletes and coaches to volunteers and facility operators, all of whom play an important role in leading our sport.

"We have heard some truly inspiring stories today and on behalf of the ASA I would like to thank everyone linked to this event for their ongoing commitment and for being such incredible ambassadors for swimming and aquatics."

The awards were presented by British diver and Commonwealth bronze medallist in the 3m synchro, Freddie Woodward. He said: "I'm honoured to have been asked to present these awards.

"The achievement and dedication of all the finalists is amazing and I am very pleased to have been part of this very special event.”