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Grassroots hero, Mark Lenathen, from Falkirk, has been named winner of the prestigious Best Volunteer in Girls and Women’s Football Award at the 2013 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards thanks to his dedication to helping girl’s football in the town grow.
Mark, collected the award at a national ceremony at Hampden Park from McDonald’s Head of Scottish Football, Kenny Dalglish and Scotland Assistant National Coach Mark McGhee.
Now in their 10th year, the awards recognise and celebrate the young players, coaches and volunteers in the six Scottish FA Regions, who dedicate their time to grassroots football in their local community.
Mark first got involved in girls football seven years ago after joining the Falkirk Football Community Programme after his daughter Amy joined the girls F Leagues in 2006.
The Foundation delivers innovative and diverse community programmes for children and young people to develop their skills and enjoyment of football.
The project is the community arm of Scottish Championship side Falkirk Football Club, working together to deliver programmes to support communities across Forth Valley.
Since joining, Mark has coached a number of girls and youth sides across several age groups – focussing on enjoyment and team spirit and is currently the programme’s under-15s team coach.
Mark’s approach to football and his players resulted in his squad winning their league and reaching the league cup final this season – just a year after the same team went a whole season without a single victory.
This year, hundreds of nominations were received from across the country, with nominees first recognised at a regional level across the five volunteer categories before going on to be shortlisted for the national awards.
McDonald’s Head of Scottish Football, Kenny Dalglish said: “Girls football has gone from strength to strength in recent years – from grassroots right the way up to the national side. It is thanks to volunteers like Mark that more and more girls are playing football and without these volunteers the girls game would not exist. My congratulations go to Mark it was a pleasure to present him with his award.”