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Water Polo stalwart receives MBE

Mavis Bent, who has been involved in swimming and water polo for 35 years, has received a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours.

Mrs Bent was officially given the honour for her “voluntary service to Swimming and Water Polo in Greater Manchester”, although specifically it was for her work with Tyldesley Swimming and Water Polo Club and Manchester & District Swimming and Water Polo Association.

Mrs Bent, now aged 67, became involved in the club in 1973 when she took her son Colin along to try swimming. Colin soon became a keen water polo player and event went on to represent England. But it was in 1978 that she began assisting the development of the senior water polo team, a role she has continued, and in 1998 she saw the Tyldesley team crowned National League Division 2 Champions and secure promotion to Division 1.

She was named President of the club in 1996 and since then has encouraged others to develop through coaching and officials courses. In January 2005, she was elected President of Manchester & District Swimming and Water Polo Association and from January 2007 has served as a Vice President.

Her achievements were also acknowledged in the House of Commons, when in 2005 Barbara Keeley (the then newly elected MP for Worsley) said: “Even the best facilities need the commitment of people such as Mavis Bent and Gwyn Pierce, who run the Tyldesley swimming and water polo club.”

Mrs Bent is also a qualified assistant water polo coach and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in the ASA North West Region Aquaforce Volunteer Awards in 2007.

"I am amazed and very honoured,” said Mrs Bent.

There were also MBEs for Mrs Susan Clarke for her voluntary service to Disability Swimming in Stockton-on-Tees and for Mrs Janice Naylor for her services to swimming in Penicuik, Midlothian.

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