Sports have a funny way of taking someone’s life and completely turning it around. The day I picked up a lacrosse stick, I did not know it at first, but that moment was going to change my life forever. Me deciding to pick up that stick in turn lead me to the greatest achievements in my life so far. I found a community and support system that I can count on at any time of the day. I got to travel outside of Wisconsin for the first time, travel and play internationally for the first time, and as I am writing this, I am sitting in a Starbucks on the East Coast while I get to live here for the next month working and promoting some pretty amazing things in the lacrosse world. Since my Coach introduced me to Syracuse Lacrosse I have dreamed of making it to the East Coast, and I’m finally here! But that’s enough about me, it time to focus on the future.
It’s a dream I’m sure every lacrosse player has dreamed of before:
Lacrosse in the Olympics.
It’s a pretty big dream, right? Well that dream could become a reality very, very soon. I mentioned that I’m writing this in a Starbucks on the East Coast. I should be back in Wisconsin working my life away to pay for next semester’s textbooks, but instead, I got this amazing opportunity to give back to the lacrosse community. Since it’s given so much to me, this is one thing I can do to potentially be a part of something that changes the entire lacrosse community.
To become an Olympic Sport, lacrosse must be played in all continents and by both sexes. Many continents already have all the boxes ticked, but there is one left. Africa. More in depth, they already have a men’s team based out of Uganda. Ex Wales International Player and Coach, Storm Trentham, has introduced lacrosse into the schools of Kenya, and founded Kenya Lacrosse. The final step in getting lacrosse into the Olympics is finally on the horizon. To become an Olympic Sport, it must be played by both men and women in every continent. We also must have the team proposed eight years prior to the next Olympics. Our main goal right now is to get the girls to the World Championships in Canada 2019. Once they get there, lacrosse is eligible to be proposed as an Olympic sport.
These Kenyan athletes come from nothing. Many of the girls go to training because it means that they get fed and looked after for a weekend. They are in school because it means that they get to play the sport they fell in love with just like you and me. Donations from amazing teams, companies, and individuals around the world give these girls hope and determination to make history. When they show up to training camp, they even need to be provided with the most basic of essentials like a toothbrush because they simply can not afford to have one. If an entire lacrosse team gave up just one Starbucks drink per month, they could help fund a Kenyan athlete through an entire season. Crazy, right?
In the last few weeks, we’ve been hopping from meeting to meeting trying to vouch for these girls and do whatever it takes to get them to Canada. Myself and four other girls from all over world came together and worked hard for these girls. The friendships that were formed, the incredible connections that were made, will undoubtedly last a lifetime. The work is far from over, but we will get these girls to the U19 World Championships in 2019, and we will make a difference in the lacrosse community. One Nation. One Dream. Kenya Lacrosse.
Epoch Women Author
*Name has been changed to protect NCAA eligibility of student athlete