Cockerton, Maher Honored by FIL


Stan Cockerton (pictured) and Shelley Maher received the FIL's Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor given by the organization.

NEW YORK—The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) board recently awarded its most prestigious honor, the FIL Lifetime Achievement Award, to Stan Cockerton of Canada and Shelley Maher of Australia. This is the first year since 2009 that the FIL has presented the award.

FIL President Sue Redfern, herself one of five 2009 FIL Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, made the announcement.

"The FIL takes this award very seriously as it recognizes a lifelong commitment, much of it voluntary, to growing the game of lacrosse throughout the world," Redfern said. "I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this recognition than Stan and Shelley, two longtime international lacrosse pioneers and distinguished ambassadors for our sport."

Cockerton was an instrumental leader in the 2008 merger of the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF – men’s international lacrosse organization) with the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse (IFWLA) to form the current Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL). Cockerton was a member of the FIL board from 2008 through 2017. He served as vice president from 2008 to 2010 and as president from 2010 through July of this year.

Cockerton’s lacrosse achievements are impressive. He was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2003 and the U.S. 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 (all-time NCAA record he held until 2008) and 280 points. Cockerton still holds the NCAA all-time record for goals per game (4.39 goals per game). A first team All-Star and ACC leading scorer in each of his four NC State seasons with two conference MVP awards, he also achieved All-American status in each of his four years at NC State.

Cockerton joined the Canadian national team that captured gold in the 1978 world championship in England. In that championship, Cockerton scored six goals and three assists, including the overtime winning goal, in the 17-16 victory over the United States and was the leading scorer in the tournament. Cockerton also participated as a player in the 1982 and 1990 world championships and as an assistant coach in 1986 and 1990. Cockerton was also the head coach of the Canadian 1988 and 1992 U19 men’s field teams and manager of the 1996 U19 men’s field team.

While a member of the fabled Oshawa Green Gaels junior box lacrosse team he was twice named the league MVP. Cockerton played in only 60 senior games with the Brooklin Redmen (Whitby, Ontario) but racked up 282 points. Stan initiated and hosted the first ILF World Indoor Championships in 2003 and co-founded two international friendly cups: the Heritage Cup and the Brogden Cup. Stan 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.

Maher was introduced to lacrosse as a physical education student at college in the late 1980s. She played for the Williamstown Women’s Lacrosse Club, a western suburb club in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1990. She represented Victoria as a senior player on several occasions, as well as a senior team manager a handful of times.

Maher has held many administrative positions including president of Women’s Lacrosse Victoria, Lacrosse Victoria and Women’s Lacrosse Australia. She was appointed to the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) board as the director of Women’s Lacrosse in 2008. She was reappointed in 2012 and served until this past July. Maher provided oversight for the Women’s World Cups in Oshawa, Canada in 2013, and the largest-ever Women’s World Cup in Guildford, England in July of this year where 25 teams participated. Over that same span of time, she oversaw two FIL U19 Women’s Lacrosse World Championships in Hanover, Germany in 2011 and Edinburgh, Scotland in 2015.

Maher also had the distinct honor of organizing lacrosse’s first participation in a multi-sport world event since 1948 in July following the Women’s World Cup, when she directed the FIL women’s lacrosse six-team appearance in the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw, Poland.

Maher is currently the Dean of Students and Wellbeing (athletics, counseling, health services and residential life) at Emma Willard School, a private girls’ boarding school in Troy, N.Y. As part of her role, she is the assistant coach for the varsity lacrosse team and also coaches badminton and pickleball.

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