Even though the game of lacrosse is the official national sport of our country it seems it gets overshadowed by that ‘other’ national sport.
But while the game will likely never reach the status of hockey in Canada there are signs the game of lacrosse is drawing more players and achieving some measure of success in this region.
One example would be the increase in the number of players in Red Deer looking to raise the level of their game with various provincial teams.
“Five players tried out and all five players made Team Alberta,” said Red Deer Lacrosse president Jon Lewis.
“That makes us pretty happy seeing as we have one from pretty much every age group.”
Carrying the Red Deer colours are Tyler Clarkson for Peewee, Logan Clarkson for Bantam, Carson Stuve for Midget along with Adrienne Boudreau for Bantam girls and Emma Kooiman making it for the Midget girls.
The game was quite strong in Red Deer during the 90s but then had a bit of a drop off before making a comeback over the last couple of years.
The Association implemented some specialty camps for the kids to go to in the summer time and in late winter, just before the regular season starts, there are another set of camps, said Lewis.
“It’s really helped our sport a lot. The kids have really taken to it and you can see it out on the field and obviously it’s shown as we have kids competing for these positions on the Alberta teams.”
Another factor in the growth of lacrosse would be the mentorship program where players who have come up through the Red Deer system give back to the program by helping at camps for younger players who can relate more closely to someone they have seen play locally.
“Every time I go to a meeting, whether it’s one of our own meetings or the Alberta Lacrosse Association AGMs, the talk is always how we are just one big family and how everybody is there to help each other out,” said Lewis.
“The more we feel like a big family the more people will want to get involved.”
With things moving in the right direction Lewis figures a little more exposure will see the number of players getting involved rise from the approximately 600 registered now.
“We just need more people to talk about it and enjoy it and the more they enjoy it, the more they’ll talk about it.”