A Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor teacher will rub shoulders with some of Welsh sport's brightest stars after being named the Wales Volunteer of the Year.

Maths teacher and general education programme area manager Gareth Lanagan, aged 36, of Aberystwyth, was named Volunteer of the Year for the Wales Sport Awards 2018 on Tuesday, November 27.

He was nominated after being credited with "saving" Dolgellau cricket club, where he is head coach, first team captain and club chairman.

He will accept his award alongside the elite of Welsh sport at a ceremony at the Celtic Manor on December 4th.

He said:

It is pretty surreal, but awesome that the club and the hard work that goes on by a number of volunteers has been recognised.

Hopefully it will raise the profile of the cricket club and the surrounding area. 

It will be great to be part of a night that I have watched since a child, and it will be brilliant to take my wife, who has to compromise a lot of her time.

Gareth, who works at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor's Dolgellau and Pwllheli campuses, has always been a passionate cricketer.

When he's not teaching and working in the college, he devotes a vast amount of his time to volunteering. He added:

Cricket, since I have been a young boy, has been life. It has given me so much - many of my best experiences have come through cricket.

I want to share this sport with as many people as possible. I work in Dolgellau and am grateful to the college for giving me a job and thus want to pay something back to the local community, who have given me a vocation.

And I have always felt the club was a sleeping giant and had huge potential.

Sport Wales say the Volunteer of the Year category recognises an individual who devotes their time to support, develop or champion sport.

In a BBC Cymru Wales video, Gareth explained how in 2016 Dolgellau Cricket Club managed to field a full side just once all year.

After that, Gareth quickly set about "securing the club's future" - with a focus on developing a "family-friendly" club.

He launched a female cricket section within the club, which now boasts 20 players, and there are now more than 70 children training every Wednesday night in the youth section.

Gareth hopes that Dolgellau will become one of the biggest clubs in North Wales within the next five years.

Stuart Evans, who is vice chairman of Dolgellau Cricket Club and nominated Gareth for the award, said:

We've gone from a club that was just about surviving, to one that it is thriving, thanks to Gareth.

Sometimes I wonder if he actually sleeps! He loves cricket and loves Dolgellau cricket club. He is most definitely our Mr Cricket.

Sarah Powell, CEO at Sport Wales said:

Yet again, we have an exceptional standard of community award winners who demonstrate the amazing work happening in grassroots sport.

I have no doubt that hearing about these groups and individuals will help motivate and inspire others to enjoy sport and the many opportunities it offers.