Finalists for first ever St David Awards announced

The finalists for the first St David Awards have been announced today by First Minister Carwyn Jones at the Wales Millennium Centre.

There are eight categories, ranging from sport to innovation and technology.

They are intended to honour those who are not simply doing their jobs, but making a real difference to the quality of life in Wales.

The finalists are as follows:

BRAVERY AWARD

Sgt Gareth Davies and Pc John Harrison, of North Wales Police - Duo arrested a gunman during bomb threat at Wrexham Guildhall in May 2012.

Pc Alun Morgan, Dyfed Powys Police - Rescue attempt of 14-year-old boy drowning in Cilrychen Quarry, Ammanford.

Karin Williams, school crossing patrol officer, Rhoose - Lollipop lady who saved the lives of children by throwing herself in front of a runaway car.

CITIZENSHIP

Lara Cowpe - Hospital worker who raised more than £50,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust.

Julian Davenne - Youth volunteer since 1995 who has worked for nearly every club for disabled children and young people in the Torfaen council area. Also provides Dyslexia Awareness Training for Torfaen Council staff.

Yaina Samuels - Former heroin addict who has become role model with her addiction counselling. Founder of social enterprise NU-Hi Ltd, which provides substance misuse education and training workshops in Cardiff.

CULTURE

The Cory Band Brass Band, Rhondda Cynon Taf - 2013 Brass in Concert champions and have completed an 11-concert tour of Australia, performing to thousands of people.

Tim Rhys-Evans - Founder of choir group Only Men Aloud. Mr Rhys-Evans has also gone on to form youth choir Only Boys Aloud and Only Kids Aloud - the latter of which performed at the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.

Cerys Matthews - Singer-songwriter and former frontwoman of '90s rock band Catatonia. Also hosts a radio show on BBC 6 Music and presented on The Culture Show and The One Show.

ENTERPRISE

Robin Jones - Managing director of Wrexham's The Village Bakery - whose sales have grown to reach £33 million.

Bev Pold - Project innovation manager, Chwarae Teg, who previously won the Queen's Enterprise Award in 2009.

Antur Waunfawr - Leading social enterprise providing employment and training opportunities for people with learning difficulties. Established in 1984, it celebrates its 30th birthday this year.

INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY

Dr Lyn Evans - Scientist and project leader of CERN Large Hadron Collider.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd - Worked with the Violence and Social Research Group, Cardiff University. Its pioneering work has seen decreases in violence-related harm across Wales.

Swansea Maxillofacial Unit Team, Morriston Hospital, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board - Has helped pioneer life-changing developments in the way surgical and prosthetic procedures are undertaken. The unit is also involved in the world's biggest cleft lip and palate research programme.

SPORT

Leigh Halfpenny - Welsh and British lions rugby international. Has won 48 caps for Wales, and has scored 344 points for his country, including 12 tries. Helped the Welsh rugby side successfully defend their 2013 Six Nations title and was named BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2013.

Warren Gatland - head coach, Welsh National Rugby Team who coached the British Lions to their first series win in Australia since 1997.

Geraint Thomas - Cardiff-born double Olympic cycling gold medallist. Played key part in Team GB's pursuit team setting a new world record.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson - One of Wales's most successful athletes, Tanni Grey-Thompson won 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 gold medals, over the course of a 27-year career in top-flight athletics as a wheelchair racer. Now a life-peer as Baroness Grey-Thompson and sits in the House of Lords.

YOUNG PERSON

Serai Hann - Young mother from Bonymaen in Swansea who established the Swansea Bay Fair Credit campaign after becoming a victim of doorstep lenders. Her campaign resulted in Swansea Council agreeing to block pay-day lending websites across public computers and free advertising for the local credit union in the Swansea Evening Post.

Jade Jones - Reigning Olympic women's taekwondo champion in the 57kg class, winning the UK's first ever gold medal in the sport in London 2012. Won BBC Wales Sports personality of the Year in 2012 and was awarded the MBE in 2013. She has the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as her next target.

Nathan Jones - Eighteen-year-old volunteer at Carmarthen Harriers Athletic Club, who won the Welsh Athletics Volunteer of the Year Award in 2013. Has been involved almost every weekend within the last two years as an assistant team manager for Carmarthen Harriers athletics, cross country, road relays and sports hall athletic teams.

INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Shortlist to be announced at later date.

The award ceremony will be held at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on Thursday March 13th.