A NORTH Ayrshire sports official who works tirelessly to give athletes opportunities has had his dedication recognised.

Mark Stringer picked up Technical Official of the Year award at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards 2019 on Thursday, November 21.

Mark is a UK Athletics Level 4 Field Official making him among the highest-ranking officials in Scotland and can be selected for international events in the UK.

He officiates across Scotland weekly and this is in addition to being a full-time teacher, a club coach, and a tutor for officiating qualifications in Scotland. Mark still officiate for his club, North Ayrshire Athletics Club.

Since he started at NAAC, he has worked at several major events including the London 2012 Olympics, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2017 World Championships.

Mark was selected as the Technical Manager for the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow, making him the highest-ranking Scottish official at the event.

He demonstrated his commitment by working day and night in the Emirates Arena in the build up to the event to oversee the unpacking of every piece of equipment delivered.

He 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.

“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.”