SKYRAC Athletics Club stalwart Gordon Agar has won an England Athletics Regional Award for services to the sport.

Otley-based Gordon, who has been a coach at the club for over 30 years and is also their president, has been chosen from many nominees for the Yorkshire and Humberside area.

Rebecca Cesar de Sa, one of Skyrac's leading athletes, said in her joint nomination of the 75-year-old: "He is dedicated, committed and works tirelessly for athletics across our region, coaching at the club four times a week and officiating for the West Yorkshire Cross-Country and Track and Field leagues at weekends.

"He is currently secretary of the West Yorkshire and Yorkshire and District leagues (actively involved in both for over 30 years) and is a founder of the Yorkshire and District Young Athletes' League, not only creating but sustaining this league.

"As a member of the Yorkshire committee for over 30 years, including involvement with team selection and the inter-counties league, Gordon's knowledge and impact at many levels is deep-rooted.

"This has been sustained over decades. Everyone seems to know Gordon. He engages with athletes both young and old on start lines with his jokes (often terrible!), he has an inclusive philosophy and has incorporated and supported athletes with physical and learning disabilities into the club for many years.

"He once coached a girl who was profoundly deaf - she was able to join in training due to his novel approach of developing a series of hand gestures.

"At age 75, despite his own health problems that have hospitalised him recently and reduced his officiating duties, Gordon gets straight back to athletics, and is there whatever the weather.

A true unsung hero. His exceptional commitment and dedication to athletics deserve recognition."

Rebecca added outside of the nomination: "I have known Gordon through Skyrac Athletics Club for over 30 years.

"When I saw the nomination form, I knew straight away that I should nominate Gordon.

"We are all delighted at the club for Gordon - he really deserves this award."

Gordon was surprised to win the award, and said: "I am really pleased to have been put forward and that England Athletics recognises the work of the many hundreds of volunteers that give of their time day in, day out for athletics in our region."

Gordon, who is awaiting surgery, was unable to collect his award at last week's ceremony from former Olympic sprint medallist Dorothy Hyman, so it was collected on his behalf by Rebecca and Nuno Cesar de Sa, who both nominated him.

Rebecca said: "It was an honour to collect the award on behalf of Gordon.

"It was such a shame that he was not able to be there to enjoy the awards evening himself and to be presented his award by Dorothy."

Gordon will also miss the England Athletic National Award Ceremony later this month in Coventry.

His daughter, Maria Harrison, who is also a volunteer coach at Skyrac, will attend the event on Gordon's behalf.

Rebecca added: "Knowing Gordon, with his dedication and lifelong commitment to both Skyrac and regional athletics, he won't keep away from the start line for long."