Canada’s Stan Cockerton was one of two leading officials to receive the FIL lifetime achievement award ©FIL

The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Board has presented its most prestigious honour, the lifetime achievement award, to Canada's Stan Cockerton and Australia's Shelley Maher.

This is the first year since 2009 that the FIL has handed out the award.

Cockerton was an instrumental leader in the 2008 merger of the International Lacrosse Federation with the International Federation of Women's Lacrosse to form the current FIL.

The Canadian was a member of the FIL Board from 2008 through to 2017.

He also served as vice-president from 2008 to 2010 and as President from 2010 through to July of this year.

Maher, meanwhile, has held many administrative positions, including President of Women’s Lacrosse Victoria, Lacrosse Victoria and Women's Lacrosse Australia.

The Australian was appointed to the FIL Board as the director of women's lacrosse in 2008.

She was re-appointed in 2012 and served until this past July.

Maher also provided oversight for the 2017 Women's World Cup in English town Guildford, where 25 teams participated to make it the largest-ever tournament. 

Additionally, she has overseen the FIL Under-19 Women’s Lacrosse World Championships in German city Hanover in 2011 and Scotland's capital Edinburgh in 2015.

FIL President Sue Redfern, who was one of the five lifetime achievement award recipients in 2009, congratulated Cockerton and Maher.

Shelley Maher was appointed to the FIL Board as the director of women’s lacrosse in 2008 ©FIL
Shelley Maher was appointed to the FIL Board as the director of women’s lacrosse in 2008 ©FIL

"The FIL takes this award very seriously as it recognises a lifelong commitment, much of it voluntary, to growing the game of lacrosse throughout the world," she said.

"I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this recognition than Stan and Shelley, two long-time international lacrosse pioneers and distinguished ambassadors for our sport."

Cockerton is currently executive director of the Ontario Lacrosse Association and continues to work with the FIL on the Development Committee and as chair of the Olympic Vision Committee.

He was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Association Hall of Fame in 2003 and the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2014 for his contributions as a record-setting scorer.

Cockerton was an outstanding box lacrosse athlete, but achieved his greatest success in the field game.

He played for North Carolina State University from 1977 to 1980, scoring 193 goals, an all-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) record he held until 2008, and 280 points.

Cockerton still holds the NCAA all-time record for goals per game with 4.39.

Maher is currently the dean of students and well-being at Emma Willard School, a private girls' boarding school in Troy in New York. 

As part of her role, she is the assistant coach for the varsity lacrosse team and also coaches badminton and pickleball.

Maher, who played for the Williamstown Women's Lacrosse Club in 1990 and represented Victoria as a senior player on several occasions, also had the distinct honour of organising lacrosse's first participation in a multi-sport world event since 1948 in July.

Following the Women's World Cup, she directed the FIL's women's lacrosse six-team tournament at the 2017 World Games in Wrocław in Poland.