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Falkirk grassroots hero, Mark Lenathen, has been named winner of the Central Region Scottish FA Volunteer of the Year in Girls and Women’s Football category as part of the 2013 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards.
Also winner of an award is Alban Dickson who has won the region’s Volunteer of the Year in Disability Football award.
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 joining Falkirk Football Community Programme after his daughter Amy joined the girls F Leagues in 2006. He has since 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 is always there to support his players and works hard at instilling belief into all of his squads.
This was most apparent when Mark’s team which last year went a whole season without winning a single match, won their league and reached the league cup final this season. Marks’ under-15s team is also currently enjoying a successful season in the National Scottish Women’s Football League.
As winner of the award, Mark is now in with the chance of winning the national accolade selected by a judging panel of Scottish FA representatives.
The National Awards will be presented to winners at a prestigious ceremony attended by legends of the game, including McDonald’s Head of Scottish Football Kenny Dalglish, held at Hampden Park on September 26th.
Alban Dickson is the chairperson and head coach of Stirling City Allstars, after first getting involved in the club in 2008 as an assistant manager.
In 2009 Alban took on the responsibility of driving the club forward, organising weekly training sessions for the club’s 41 players and ensures there are enough coaches, equipment and facilities available each week for all the clubs teams.
Alban’s commitment to the club has allowed it to grow over the last five years offering more football opportunities for the community than ever before.
As a result the club has rapidly expanded meaning it can now provide football coaching for disabled players giving them a fun and safe environment to enjoy football on a weekly basis.
McDonald’s Head of Scottish Football, Kenny Dalglish, said: “The Scottish FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Awards recognise the selfless efforts of grassroots football volunteers, who dedicate their free time to supporting the game in their community.
"Volunteers like Mark help to develop a young players’ love of the game and are integral in keeping the grassroots game alive – these awards are a way of sharing their stories and thanking them for their dedication and I wish Mark the best of luck at the national awards in September.”
Other winners from the Central Region include:
• Volunteer of the Year in Youth Football – Ian Stevenson
• Volunteer of the Year in Schools Football – David Smith
• Volunteer of the Year in Adult Football – Pat Griffin
• Volunteer of the Year in Girls’/Women's Football – Mark Lenathen
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