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If you've ever been to a Port Macquarie Running Festival, Port Sharks Football game or any other sporting event, there's a very high chance you would have seen Port Macquarie local Bennett Powell.
Powell has been a sporting volunteer for over a decade, making it his mission to support local sport in the area.
He's often at sporting events, such as Ironman Australia, to set up beforehand, pass water bottles to the athletes and help out in any way he can.
Powell has been volunteering for the Port Sharks Football Club for the past 10 years, going to their training sessions two times a week on top of every game, to help the players.
Powell said he loves the community aspect of volunteering.
"It's just awesome to be a part of a sporting event in town where you can meet new people and help them," he said.
"To see everyone finish their race or game and then come up to me and say 'thank you', is the best part.
"I love having that connection with people in the community - it's why I do it."
Powell was recently awarded Hastings Sporting Volunteer of the Year for his efforts.
He said he was "overwhelmed" when he heard that he won the award.
"I love to help the community, so to receive an award for doing what I love is really special to me.
"I think it's just really rewarding to see how much people appreciate your efforts. I always feel so welcomed in Port Macquarie."
"Competing in those events have been an amazing experience. It was amazing to raise money during the Tour de Cure and very rewarding to see how much we could help other people."
Powell said he's happy to see the impact he's made in the community, and he's thankful for the community's support as he continues to do what he loves.
"I'd like to thank everyone for making this award possible, and a big thank you to Mel, my mum, my gran and everyone who has been supportive of me and helped me get to this stage."
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