Streetwise coaches in for sport awards
THREE community sport and fitness coaches who work for Link4Life across the borough have been shortlisted for national awards.
Scott Hardy, Aleksandra Savina and Matthew Howells are finalists in the 2018 Street Games National Awards organised by the Street Games Network charity. The trio have developed sports, leisure and healthy eating events for children and teenagers from different backgrounds in Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton.
Some activities have been widened to also promote reading with local libraries, tackle anti-social behaviour and crime with the police, and combat money-lending and loansharks who prey on vulnerable families.
The programmes are held in school holidays or at weekends and evenings across a range of venues including libraries, community halls, kick-about pitches and even the streets.
Scott Hardy is a finalist in the Project of the Year category for a programme called Fit, Fed and Read.
Aleksandra Savina is a finalist in the Coach of the Year category for running a programme called Rochdale Us Girl.
Matthew Howells is a finalist for the Outstanding Work in Community Safety category. Scott, 33, from Heywood, is a Link4Life programme manager for youth, training and volunteering. He said: “Link4Life is part of the Street Games network across the UK which includes loads of brilliant projects in towns and cities. So to be shortlisted nationally is a fantastic achievement.”
Scott has worked with youngsters on housing estates in areas across Rochdale Borough including Darnhill, Langley, Freehold, Falinge, Turf Hill and Smallbridge.
He said: “My role is working with groups of young people who may face particular barriers in taking part in sport or being active.”
Aleksandra has overcome personal hardships, including becoming a single mother and having to move to a place where she didn’t know anyone to working full time, including many evening and weekends delivering community dance and fitness programmes across Rochdale and Manchester.
Matthew has been running sports activities for youngsters in areas with very few facilities, and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.
Link4Life operates leisure, arts and culture venues and activities across the borough including community health and wellbeing programmes.
The awards take place at the Street Games National Conference in Northamptonshire later this month.
Link4 Life coaches Scott Hardy, Matthew Howells and Aleksandra Savina have been shortlisted for the Street Games National Awards