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Civic award winner Stuart hoping for bright future for sport in Peterborough

Civic Award winner Stuart Haw hopes his award can be a "call to arms" to connect community services throughout Peterborough. 
Civic award winner Stuart Haw

Stuart was recognised for his services to Sport, one of many deserving residents, groups, organisations and businesses that have made a real difference to their local community throughout 2020 including Street Arts Hire founder Nathan Murdoch, Stanground community worker Mandy Eddings, and health champion Del Singh.

He received the award from Peterborough City Council in recognition of his support to local community sport clubs throughout the pandemic such as Peterborough and Nene Valley Athletic Club (PANVAC) and St George’s Hydrotherapy Pool.

Stuart, 26, from Woodston, is completing a PhD remotely at Northumbria University so has had to balance his academic commitments whilst helping community sport organisations in Peterborough respond to the challenges the pandemic has caused.

While Vivacity completed the 90-day transition period with the Council, many local sport organisations were facing uncertain futures. Haw, who had previously been employed at Vivacity, and a member of local clubs, was researching local sport and leisure provision as part of his PhD and had been in contact with the Council and many local clubs and organisations to explore the skills necessary for facility transfer.

And his experience on this issue helped with facility transfers and transitions for several of the city’s sport and leisure organisations.

He said:" I am delighted to receive the award. I really want local sport and leisure organisations, especially those at community level, to be connected with a wide network of community organisations in Peterborough.

"I think this can be a positive legacy of the tragic and challenging situation we have faced. I want to use the award as a call to arms, if you want to get involved with your local community please contact your local councillor or community connector. I believe the community sport and leisure network in Peterborough can be strengthened.

"Last summer was a challenge, but it was an example of what local people can achieve when they work together regardless of who gets the credit, so if you are involved with a community sport and leisure organisation, please get in contact, and let’s see how we can strengthen the community network in Peterborough.”

Elaine Larkins, the Chair of PANVAC, worked with Stuart closely over the summer as the club liaised with the council and Vivacity.

She said: “Stuart has been tremendous in helping the club in what has been a tricky time. His understanding of what a community needs in terms of physical and mental fitness combined with his passion for running really assisted us. He helped us look at the bigger picture and in fact, plan for a fitter, healthier future for Peterborough as a whole!”

Karen Oldale, Chair of St George’s Hydrotherapy Pool in Dogsthorpe said: "Stuart's commitment and drive to be a voice for sport and physical activity in the city has been remarkable. We know access to physical movement at all levels, is vital for good health and wellbeing.

"As we emerge from this pandemic, and if we are to recover well, it’s important we listen to informed and vibrant, community champions like this."

Stuart is now working with local stakeholders to ensure sport and leisure has a prominent role in how Peterborough moves forwards after the pandemic.

He has been working with Peterborough City Council’s Community Connectors, who are working alongside community leaders and residents, to develop local capacities and promote social action.

Steve Harknett, one of the Community Connectors, said ‘Stuart’s ideas around increasing networking, cooperation and synergies between community-level sport fits in well with PCC’s Community Building work, which strengthens local initiatives to improve the quality of community life in Peterborough. Sport and leisure are hugely important contributors to this."

Organisations can share their concerns and network with other community sport and leisure providers here