A sport official who works tirelessly to give athletes across Scotland opportunities in sport has had his dedication recognised after being named sportscotland Technical Official of the Year 2019.
Mark Stringer is a UK Athletics Level 4 Field Official making him among the highest-ranking officials in Scotland. This means he can be selected for international events in the UK.
He officiates across Scotland nearly every week of the year in addition to being a full-time teacher, a club coach and a tutor for officiating qualifications in Scotland. Mark still finds time to officiate at local club events at his club, North Ayrshire AC.
Since he started at North Ayrshire, he has worked at several major events including the London 2012 Olympic Games, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2017 World Championships.
Mark was selected as technical manager for the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow earlier this year, making him the highest-ranking Scottish official at the event.
He again demonstrated his commitment to the sport by working day and night in the Emirates Arena in the build-up to the event to oversee the unpacking and construction of equipment.
Despite his major event experience, Mark says seeing young people taking part in the sport and being able to pass on his extensive knowledge as a tutor is what drives him to continue going above and beyond.
In his own words
Mark said: “I think it is important to do the grassroots events as well as international events. Although they are totally different, there’s the enjoyment factor of seeing younger kids compete and see them go up the levels.
“Over the years I’ve seen young athletes at under-13, under-15 level going on to be recognised for Scotland and GB.
“For me it is about a mentoring role as well, making sure I can pass on any knowledge I’ve gained over the years.
"Everyone can take things in different strides and everyone has a part to play. If young people can pick things up early there’s no saying where they might be able to take it.”
Mark picked up his award at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards 2019 at Glasgow City Chambers on 21 November.
Inspirational coaches, officials and volunteers from all over Scotland were recognised across 15 categories for their significant contribution to sport.
Hosted by BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, the Awards celebrated coaches, officials and volunteers for their work in sports such as swimming, cycling, athletics, football, karate, wheelchair curling, basketball, boxing and canoeing.
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, said: “Every year across Scotland, thousands of dedicated sporting enthusiasts devote their time, knowledge and skills to afford others the chance to take part in sport, and experience all the benefits that come with sport participation.
“Our Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards give us a chance to celebrate the great sporting achievements that are taking place every day and congratulate those who are making an incredible commitment to Scottish sport.
“At sportscotland we are implementing a world-class sporting system at every level and that is only possible with the support of the many dedicated coaches, officials and volunteers.”
Find out more
Visit the sportscotland website for information about coaching, officiating and volunteering.