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Grow The Game Aims To Make Lacrosse Inclusive

  • St Mary's County
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UPDATE 2/26 -  The location of the clinic has been changed to St. Mary's Ryken High School.

ST. MARY'S COUNTY, Md. -  Local lacrosse players are hoping to change the image of the sport they love and bring a more diverse group of players to the field. 

Alex David, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the St. Mary's Youth Lacrosse Club, says, "It's known to be an affluent game that only wealthy people play but that goes against the true meaning of the game."

Lacrosse was first played by Native Americans who introduced the game to Europeans in the 1630s. Those games were huge social events with many participants. David says, "We want to bring it back to that idea and make it more welcoming and more diverse."

Free Lacrosse Clinic

To encourage more young people to give the sport a try, St. Mary's Youth Lacrosse club will offer a FREE clinic on February 28st at St. Mary's Ryken High School  from 2-3:30 pm. It's all part of the Grow The Game Initiative that aims to increase the diversity of the sport.

The club will provide equipment. All players need bring is water and cleats if they have a pair. The clinic is for boys between 6 and 14. No pre-registration is required.

If kids find out they enjoy the sports, SMYLC offers scholarships to families in need to cover the cost of registration for the club. David says, "There's no doubt that there's a financial barrier. We are hoping to alleviate that stress. Especially nowadays, with COVID and unemployment and everything. We find it really important that these kids have an outlet. The scholarship covers registration cost for the club which is usually $150."

High School Student Julian Ballard of Lexington Park coaches young players at a clinic last fall.

Maryland Loves Lacrosse

Maryland has a passionate lacrosse community. So much so, that lacrosse is the official team sport of Maryland and there's a bill before the house to make it the official state sport. David hopes local lacrosse players will step up to donate new and gently used youth equipment to help new players out.

The club is looking for:

  • lacrosse sticks
  • lightly used helmets
  • elbow pads
  • shoulder pads
  • gloves
  • cleats

He says lacrosse combines the strategy of basketball with the endurance of soccer and the physicality of football and hockey. Unlike those sports, he says there's a place for everyone on the field. "There's a place on the team for just about anybody. You don't have to be blazing fast or super huge. You can take the gifts you've been given and find a role on a Lacrosse team."

Click here to apply for the scholarship to the SMYLC.  Registration ends March 5. 

If you're interested in donating gently used or new youth lacrosse equipment or by volunteering to coach, email Alex David at windowofopportunity@gmail.com or stop by the clinic on February 28st, 2021 from 1- 3:30 pm.

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