The ceremony took place at Exeter Chiefs’ Sandy Park on Thursday evening and Tavistock head coach Lake had joined City of Plymouth Trampoline & Gymnastics Club’s Danny Anstey and Newton Abbot Water Polo Club’s Phil Shears as finalists.
All three had impressed in their sports and all would have been worthy winners, but Lake picked up the awarded at the glittering ceremony.
Tavistock Swimming Club have enjoyed their most successful year. They had 33 swimmers qualify for the Devon County Championships, resulting in 37 finalists, 44 club records and 18 medals, which included five championship medals. They also had 15 swimmers qualified for the South West Regional Championships, competing in eight finals and secured two bronze medals, 35 PBs and 14 club records. They have also had a young swimmer qualify for two events at the forthcoming National Summer Championships in Sheffield.
Lake’s extensive knowledge of open water swimming led to a club member winning world and European age group aquathlon medals.
At the age of 10, Lake was a founder member of Tavistock Swimming Club when Meadowlands Leisure Centre first opened in June 1990 and has been passionate about the club ever since.
He competed for them up to national level and was the club’s men’s captain. He is a Level 3 swimming coach, a triathlon coach, a Level 2 fitness instructor and is currently enrolled on the coaches Level 4 strength and conditioning for athletes course.
A club spokesperson said: “The Devon Sports Awards are all about embracing the amazing work being carried out within the community at every level. The main purpose is to recognise and inspire people to participate at all levels of sport and physical activity.
“James has an exceptional talent for gaining the best from any level of swimmer. No wonder then that Tavistock Swimming Club had no hesitation in nominating him for this award and are absolutely delighted that his talents have been recognised in this way.”