A LIFELONG fan of the sea has been been nominated for this year’s Community Pride Awards after teaching people to sail in York for more than 40 years.

Michael Craggs, 71, from Bishopthorpe has been nominated for the Sporting Hero Award by his friend, James Whitehead, for his ‘untiring and inspiring work’ as the senior sailing instructor at the Royal Yachting Association Club in Bishopthorpe.

He said: “I remember back in 1983 when I went down to the club on one of their annual open days, and there was Mike with so much enthusiasm, just itching to take me out on his dinghy.

“Mike inspired me to buy a boat and race.

“It was a thrilling experience and he has helped hundreds of people over the years and there is no doubt that he has inspired others to go on and purchase their own dinghies or keelboat yachts. Mike has continued to encourage me over the years because he is such a fine individual.

“Sadly Mike has been blighted with severe eye problems however, that has not stopped him getting out there to teach people to sail at the club and he is also a qualified first aid instructor for the club.

“He has worked for so hard over the decades for the sailing community around York and its environs is massive, he is definitely my sporting hero and I know he is others too.”

On hearing his nomination, Mr Craggs, said: “It is lovely to be nominated and know that some of my teaching has helped others who have gone on to do amazing things in the sailing world.

“We have seen people go on to sail the world and to work in the industry, so to know that we have helped with their progression, is fulfilling.

“Whilst we have slowed down our teaching, we still provide summer lessons and help people with competitions. I have loved every minute of it.”

All award nominees must live in, or contribute to life in, the City of York Council area. Three finalists from each category will be invited to the awards ceremony at York Racecourse.

Entries can be posted to York Community Pride Awards, The Press, 84-86 Walmgate, York Y01 9YN. Or online at yorkpress.co.uk/communitypride by Friday, July 26. Nominations must include a supporting statement and a photo.