WEIGHTLIFTER Sam Hayer, who has coached thousands of young people and ran the sport’s events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has received a special award.

The 49-year-old, who runs a gym at Oldbury Academy, was presented with the chairman’s Recognition Award at the 2012 Black Country Sport and Physical Activity Awards.

Mr Hayer’s management of the competition at the ExCel Arena at London 2012 was described as “the best delivery of Olympic weightlifting ever” by International Weightlifting Federation president Tamas Ajan.

He was nominated for the award by Sandwell Council’s Rob Marlow, from the PE and sports strategy team, who said:“Sam is a truly inspirational character. He has shown that hard work, preparation and planning can be combined to deliver truly superb results.

“Sam has led a team of individuals from many different backgrounds and skill sets to deliver an Olympic event which has been viewed the world over. Sam is sharing this wonderful experience with thousands of young people across Sandwell and the region.

“Sam has a ‘can do’ attitude to everything that he turns his hand to. His passion for developing weightlifting and encouraging people into the sport is helping to inspire a generation of young people to become involved in sport. Sam’s work will ensure participation in sport for years to come.”

Mr Hayer represented England at the 1986 and 1990 Commonwealth Games, and is now coaching young hopefuls for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and 2016 Olympic and Paralymic Games in Rio.