Workington swimming teacher Gwen Cape is in the running to be named the nation’s best.

Cape, who is based at Workington Leisure Centre, was voted the best swimming teacher in Allerdale, winning the first round of a national competition.

She teaches weekly classes which form part of the leisure centre’s Learn to Swim programme and has been teaching for more than 20 years, from beginners to advanced swimmers.

Cape was nominated for the national Swimming Teacher of the Year competition by a combination of pupils, parents and colleagues, all of whom were impressed by her dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to her job.

More than 700 nominations were made nationwide and she will now go through to a regional semi-final. If she is successful she will then go forward to a national judging day to take place at the London Aquatics Centre in Stratford.

The initiative is the brainchild of leisure operator and charitable social enterprise Better, which operates Workington Leisure Centre.

Cape said: “I am truly grateful for all that have voted for me.

“Hearing that I’ve won the first round of the Swimming Teacher of the Year awards has been a brilliant surprise and I am really pleased to be representing Allerdale.”

Garry Schubert, manager of the leisure centre, added: “Gwen is a hugely dedicated and hard-working individual.

“She has inspired and encouraged a huge range of swimmers to enjoy and benefit from their time in the water.

“She is able to make even the most nervous swimmer feel comfortable and confident in the water, while encouraging the more able to progress and hone their skills.”