CityLax is a decade old not-for-profit which was founded with one goal in mind: Inspire and support the growth of lacrosse inside New York City Public Schools and underserved communities.
Through free winter clinics for players, free coaches’ clinics, free summer and fall lacrosse opportunities, annual financial grants to PSAL teams, and supporting the NYC Lacrosse Championships year after year, CityLax has made a huge difference in the quality and growth of NYC public school lacrosse.
When CityLax was founded by Mat Levine back in 2006, there were a total of SIX teams (JV, club and varsity) playing lacrosse in NYC. Coming up on 2016, there will 62 programs running in the Spring, with an approximately 50/50 split between boys and girls teams, and 50 varsity programs. Clearly, the support has been paying off in terms of growth and providing more kids with great opportunities.
CityLax Donates 625 Helmets To NYC Public Schools
Yesterday, at John Dewey HS in Brooklyn, CityLax stepped up its efforts yet again and donated over 625 brand new Cascade Lacrosse helmets to New York City’s Public School Athletics League. This means that each and every one of the 25 boys PSAL teams will receive 25 brand new helmets for 2016. Over on the girls side, each team will receive 25 sets of protective goggles, and a full set of goalie gear, including helmets.
This is truly an unprecedented donation, and for 50 varsity teams to all receive brand new protective gear in one year is straight up inspiring! Over 20 teams showed up with coach and player representatives, and both the boys and girls players were glowing over the new gear. All those helmets in one place (this was only HALF of them!) made for a pretty cool sight… I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen this many brand new lacrosse helmets in one place!
Eric Goldstein, the CEO of NYC’s Office of School Support Services had this to say about the massive donation:
“We are proud to partner with CityLax to supply New York City public schools with the latest protective lacrosse gear and provide student-athletes with additional educational opportunities in physical fitness, character development and socialization skills. The PSAL is thankful for CityLax’s contribution to supporting the growth of lacrosse in schools by providing equipment that promotes participation and helps prevent injuries.”
The donation was coordinated by CityLax, the PSAL, Cascade Lacrosse, and the project’s retail partner, Lacrosse Unlimited. Joe DeSimone of LU was on hand at the donation, and he spoke to the kids about the benefits of lacrosse and top notch protective equipment:
“We at Lacrosse Unlimited could not be more excited to be part of Citylax and the continuous growth of Lacrosse. It was an honor for us to be considered to help facilitate this massive contribution to the PSAL and we are hopeful we can be part of the bright future of lacrosse in NYC.”
John Moser is the CEO of CityLax, and he has two sons playing NCAA D3 lacrosse right now. One plays at Castleton, and the other at Wesleyan. John also played college lacrosse (Lafayette), and he is a big believer in what this game can do for young men and women. On top of explaining to the current players that helmets are a lot more comfortable today than they were in his day, Moser also said:
“As part of our 10th year supporting the growth of Public School lacrosse in New York City and our partnership with the PSAL, we are pleased to update all teams with the latest in protective headgear and goalie gear in our commitment to see the game of lacrosse continue to grow inside the City’s public schools, that are populated by underserved student-athletes. We feel this equipment answers the commitment in the PSAL for safety of its student-athletes and will hopefully enhance the level of play and be a major factor in injury prevention.”
Each helmet has a CityLax sticker in the back, and will be customized with team logos and stickers before the season starts up. The next big event for CityLax is the March 12th PSAL play day, where every public school varsity team will play a series of scrimmages to warm up for the 2016 season. It’s a massive and amazing event! In April, CityLax will host its annual fundraising Gala in New York City, and that is always a who’s who of lacrosse. If you’re in the City, buy a ticket and attend. It’s a great time and it supports a GREAT cause!
Follow CityLax on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay up to date on their mission, and if you want to get involved (you do!), visit their website to find out how you can be involved in this fantastic group’s ongoing efforts!
Editor’s Note: the author of this story, Connor Wilson, has been a CityLax volunteer for the last six years. It doesn’t change the story, but we wanted to mention it in the interest of full disclosure!
For more on CityLax, check out the below videos: