It’s official – Mark is one of his sport’s top refs

Air Commodore Baz North presents Flight Lieutenant Mark Buckley with his RAF Sports Official award.
Air Commodore Baz North presents Flight Lieutenant Mark Buckley with his RAF Sports Official award.

An RAF Boulmer officer has won the Royal Air Force Sports Official award for his refereeing contribution to lacrosse.

Flight Lieutenant Mark Buckley, an aerospace battle manager at the base, was presented with the trophy at Capability at the fifth annual RAF Sports Awards ceremony held at RAF Halton in the Chilterns.

Mark said: “This is a huge honour for me and I am really pleased to get some recognition for our lesser-known sport. Refereeing lacrosse is a team effort, there are three on the field and two on the bench working together.

“The skills I have developed in the RAF have helped me to succeed in this field too; leadership, management and communication skills all come to the fore.”

Mark has been involved with lacrosse since 2001 when he took up the sport while at university at Aberystwyth. He has played for the RAF team throughout his 10-year career, culminating in a win at the Inter-Service Championships in 2011.

Unable to play the sport for a while, Mark decided to take up refereeing, gaining his Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 qualifications.

This year, he achieved his ambition of refereeing during the World Championships in July when he travelled to Denver, Colorado, as one of the 11 England referees and he is now a Level 5 referee. His next ambition is to get to the European Championships in Hungary in 2016.