May saw the most nominations of any month so far and competition was fierce. After convening our panel of experts we are proud to announce...

May's leader of the month is...

Mike Swann

Mike Swann "Mike is a very inspirational instructor. He has M.S. but despite all his difficulties, he never stops trying. He has been a climbing instructor for a local climbing wall and is currently involved with the Scouts and a nearby private school. He will go out of his way to help people and to encourage others to challenge themselves. When we look at Mike, we see an old disabled man who struggles to walk but when we see him climb and instruct, we see a man who challenges stereotypes and labels. Mike has inspired many people to take up climbing as a sport or hobby and others to become instructors. Mike doesn't just inspire young people, he takes the time to inspire people with disabilities and elderly people too. He encourages other instructors to do the same, making climbing accessible to all.

Every year, Mike's disability gets a little bit worse. Every day, he fights it taking over his life and he fights for the ability to walk. Anyone with such a condition will have their mental health and self-esteem brutally challenged. To find the strength to carry on, to inspire others to do the same, is remarkable.

I, together with the young people I work with, feel that Mike is the most deserving of such an award. He is a kind, considerate and passionate man, who never gives up, not only on himself but on others as well."

Mike holds the Single Pitch Award and was nominated by Sarah Allan, on behalf of 18th Swindon Scouts and St Gabriel's School in Newbury.

Find out more about Mike
Watch a video of Mike in action at the wall in Swindon

Special mention also goes to...

Su Porter

"I would like to nominate my lecturer Su Porter for ‘leader of the month’, not only of the month but of the past three years during my degree! She has inspired and supported me to achieve, sharing her passion and enjoyment of experience in the outdoors, whether in the mountains or on Dartmoor. Even in the pouring rain! Always working to achieve the best from her students, her effort assisted the success of a trip to north Wales to do Mountain Leader training and for some an experience of being, walking in the terrain.

Understated, her enthusiasm for developing and sharing outdoor experiences is not just confined to university; a volunteer with the local scout organisation, organising the Devon orienteering league, hash club, and a member of the south west region Institute of Outdoor Learning committee, to mention a few. I feel her work at University and in the community is inspiring and deserving of recognition, particularly as it has encouraged and inspired me to work hard, to be able to achieve and become a similar role model in the future."

Su holds the following awards: International Mountain Leader, Mountaineering Instructor Award, Mountain Leader, Winter Mountain Leader, Single Pitch Award. She was nominated by Isabelle Cramp.

Leader of the Month

Each month's winner will receive a year's free membership of the Mountain Training Association and a Sherpa technical fleece.

To nominate someone for Leader of the Month, email and explain, in 200 words or less, why you think they deserve to win. 'Leaders' can be anyone with a Mountain Training award.

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