Inspirational leader wins top sport award

Mandy Bennett (Right - Project Manager of the Year) with Karen Keohane
Mandy Bennett (Right - Project Manager of the Year) with Karen Keohane

An inspirational woman from the borough has been named as Project Manager of the Year by a national sports charity.

Mandy Bennett has been given the accolade by national sports charity StreetGames in recognition of her contribution to the local community.

The award was presented to Mandy at the StreetGames National Awards, held at Warwick University.

The awards recognise the best and brightest individuals and projects that deliver Doorstep Sport programmes across the UK.

Judges praised her commitment to helping her local community and giving support to young people.

The project, StreetGames North Tyneside, gives sporting opportunities to young people in the borough.

The aim is to use sport to reduce anti-social behaviour and youth-related crime in these areas, which last year reduced anti-social problems by 45 per cent in one of the local parks.

Since starting the Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteer (CSYV) project in 2010, Mandy has recruited 122 volunteers in the area and trained many of them up to level 2.

These volunteers now run ‘Doorstep Sport’ clubs such as street soccer and street dance in challenging areas to reduce anti-social behaviour and get young people involved in sports.

Mandy said: “I’m all for the volunteers to win awards but it was scary to win one myself, but I love the job that I’ve got and it would be nice if some of the young volunteers could develop into the role that I’ve done, then we can carry on a legacy in the area.”