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UK Athletics

three winners at the sports officials uk awards

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Lesley Eldridge
Lesley Eldridge (Left) collects Community Official of the Year

26 October 2017

There were three Athletics winners at the Sports Officials UK Awards last night, which celebrates the successes of the Officials community over the last year.

Robert Stevenson MBE was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award at the ceremony after years of dedicated service to officiating in the UK. Predominantly a timekeeper, ‘Stevie’ is also Vice President of the Irish Schools Athletics Association and has contributed greatly to the organisation of sport at that level in Ireland, as well as further afield with his involvement in the Schools International set up. Now approaching 90 years-old, his enthusiasm and diligence for the sport and his officiating roles continues, thus a worthy recipient of this honour.

The Officials Developer of the Year award was presented to Steve Marshall, whose commitment to mentoring officials is highly praised. Steve is a national level field official but as a tutor, he has developed both online and practical solutions to improve athletics officiating knowledge. His ‘Gizmos and Gadgets’ sessions at conferences and his online webpage which shares inventions and tips to advise his colleagues, have been essential to the development of officials in athletics.

Marshall commented: “This is an unexpected honour which crowns an amazing year for me, athletics, officials and supporters. It is particularly special as it is an award from an organisation of officials wider than athletics; Sports Officials UK.”

Lesley Eldridge was awarded the Community Official of the year for her work in the Humberside region. A level three field judge and starts assistant, Lesley is the secretary of the Humberside Schools AC and organises county schools championships. She has sought to integrate school athletics into mainstream athletics, at the same time as raising the standard of local officials and managing schools teams.

Eldridge added: “I first got involved in officiating as a teacher and qualified as an official.  I have worked hard to bring school athletics and club athletics together and have received great support from Technical officials that work within both school and club competitions.  I am really surprised to be nominated and am delighted to win this award.

“I want youngsters to realise that athletics offers something for everyone. There is an event for every child. I want them to realise they don’t have to be “first” to be “winners”, just to keep improving their performances & enjoying the sport."

Others who were nominated for awards were Linda Turner (Performance Official of the Year), Gordon Staines (Officials Coach / Mentor of the Year) and Lucy Rogers (Young Official of the Year).