Street­wise coaches in for sport awards

Middleton Guardian - - LEISURE - HE­LEN JOHN­SON

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

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