LES Nankervis said 38 years of coaching athletics had filled him with pride and happiness - and taught him a few lessons too.
"The things you are trying to instil in the kids can be applied to life itself," he said.
"You have to be prepared to turn up and push yourself.
"You cannot control anything but your performance - if you believe in yourself, the results will come."
The Summerhill man has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his dedication to helping young athletes achieve their best.
Nankervis began his involvement with Little Athletics in Launceston in 1976 and went on to coach at senior level as one of the founding members of the Western Suburbs Athletics Club in 1983.
He has since coached a number of Western Suburbs runners, including Devonport Gift winners Tao Baker and Courtney Stanley, as well as professionals such as Danielle Taylor, Ryan O'Halloran and Richard Ankin.
Nankervis said he would not have stuck around for so long if it weren't for the friendships and camaraderie the sport had given him.
"This award is very much an honour - but athletics is not a job for me," he said.
"It is something I love to do, and it has been very good to me.
"It is lovely knowing that something you've done and thoroughly enjoyed has brought other people a bit of joy too."