The Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) recognizes an international official, Team Canada alumni goalie and promoter of the sport all in one today by presenting the 2019 Lester B. Pearson Award to Cheryl MacNeill.
Fittingly, today’s presentation was made during the Team Canada reunion at the World Lacrosse U19 Women’s Lacrosse Championship, which MacNeill is co-chairing.
“Cheryl has done everything above and beyond expectation for women’s lacrosse,” says Terry Rowland, Director of Marketing for the Canadian Lacrosse Association.
“Cheryl played many years with Team Canada as their goalie and always had a winning record. As a teacher in life, she is also a great educator and promoter for women’s lacrosse in Canada.”
The CLA presents this award annually to an individual in recognition of their unselfish dedication and outstanding contributions of sportsmanship and distinguished leadership to the game of lacrosse and to the physical and mental development of young Canadians.
MacNeill was Team Canada’s goalie in 1989 and 1993 World Lacrosse (then the Federation of International Lacrosse) Women’s World Cup. Since then, she has become a highly respected and highly qualified international umpire and has mentored many quality Canadian umpires over the years.
She has also co-chaired the 2007 and 2019 U19 women’s world championships in Peterborough and the 2013 senior women’s world championships in Oshawa, with senior women’s coach Fred Blowes.
MacNeill certified as a local level umpire in 1989, provincial level umpire in 1993, national level umpire in 1999 and international level umpire in 2003. She most recently officiated games in Latvia. In a memorable moment in her career, she was an umpire at the gold medal game of the 2017 World Cup in Germany. She was also head umpire at World Cup gold medal games in 2003, 2005 and 2009.
She has also officiated at the Hong Kong Lacrosse Open and Auckland, New Zealand High School Championships both in 2016. Additionally, she has umpired at Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships in 2004, 2011 and 2013 to 2016, plus National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 3 championship games in 2016 and 2017.