Lynda Bennett, from Dysynni Hockey Club in Gwynedd, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List for Services to Hockey in Wales.
Honours are given to people from all walks of life and all sections of society who have made a difference to their communities, and that is what Lynda has managed to do for our sport over the years.
For over two decades, she has been Head Coach at Dysynni Hockey Club, as well as having volunteered as a coach for Tywyn High School and been involved with school activity since 2011.
Lynda is also a member of the Hockey Club Committee since 1990, having held the position of treasurer since 2010, and a founding player in 1980.
She is also coach of the North Wales Girls U13 side, having carried out this work for the past five years.
Lynda’s immense commitment and contribution to hockey in Wales has seen her become a real positive force in her community over time.
Countless people of all ages have benefited from her work as a hockey coach and organiser, for example coaching walking hockey for starter and older players, or those with disabilities. Those she coaches benefit from the physical and mental health aspects of this, and its impact has been significant post-Covid.
She also coaches the senior sessions for the Ladies First and Second teams and senior Men. The Ladies First team has played hockey to the highest level in North Wales, winning the North Wale Leagues several times, while the second team provides opportunities for juniors coming through the system.
Lynda has a huge hand in the development of these juniors, also heading up sessions at U11 and U13 levels, an area that has proven very successful for the club. The Dysynni juniors have competed at the highest level for their age groups, both in boys’ and girls’ hockey.
Her work, and her dedication to her work, is epitomised by the fact that she both plays for and coaches teams on their travels across North Wales on weekends, too.
This selflessness and immense effort really bring people to the sport who otherwise might be on the side-lines of the community.
On the National stage, Lynda also heads up women’s competitions and is also on the North Wales Youth Committee, organising opportunities for players throughout the nation.
She is known throughout the Welsh hockey family as a positive force for action.
And the players that she has previously coached would be testament to that.
She has coached over 30 Welsh international players, from junior upward, from a community of only 4000 people. Many are now playing at senior National League Clubs such as Cardiff & Met, Brooklands MMU and Edinburgh.
The club has also produced a Commonwealth Games Umpire Jamie Hooper and Men’s Senior International Mike Wood.
Lynda’s selflessness, tenacity, longevity and devotion to the community and hockey really bring people to the sport who otherwise might be on the side-lines of the community.
Her impact has been exceptional, and Hockey Wales would like to congratulate her on her award of an MBE.
Hockey Wales CEO, Paul Whapham, commented:
“On behalf of Hockey Wales, I would like to thank Lynda for her invaluable contribution to our sport and her local community.
“Lynda is a shining example of the fantastic work that volunteers carry out day in, day out throughout Wales and beyond, and the epitome of how that dedication inspires people of all ages and backgrounds.
“Hockey Wales would like to once again extend its gratitude to all the volunteers that make hockey possible and accessible across Wales, and would like to congratulate Lynda for being recognised with an MBE in the New Year Honours list.”