Norbert Mandic from High Wycombe has been voted the best swimming teacher in Wembley winning the first round of a national competition.

Norbert Mandic (31) teaches at Wembley leisure centre. He has worked at Wembley since the facility opened in 2016 but was a teacher prior to this. He teaches all stages and also helps the local swim squad that train at Wembley. He was nominated by a combination of pupils, parents and work colleagues all of whom were impressed by his dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to his job.

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

The initiative is the brainchild of leisure operator and charitable social enterprise Better, which operates 1 in Brent and a total of more than 140 swimming pools across the UK. Better is the biggest provider of swimming lessons in the UK, employing over 1.400 swimming teachers and running more than 18,100 swimming lessons each week.

The Swimming Teacher of the Year Award is also being supported by the Swimming Teacher’s Association (STA) and Speedo, representatives of whom will make up part of the final judging panel.

Commenting on his win, Norbert Mandic said: I’m so happy to have been voted for this award. It’s a great feeling to know you are making a difference in the lives of the people I teach and it’s such a rewarding job.

Matthew Keown partnership manager at Wembley leisure centre added: Norbert is an asset to the team; he is the favourite of every child and every adult. He is extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic in all that he does. He has inspired and encouraged a huge range of swimmers to enjoy and benefit from their time in the water.  He is able to make even the most nervous swimmer feel comfortable and confident in the water, whilst encouraging the more able to progress and hone their skills. Norbert is a true credit to our team.”