Today we’re excited to announce our February Game Grower of the Month in collaboration with Easton Lacrosse. It is our hope that the GTG Award will inspire others to give back by recognizing those that already do!
Now without further ado, the February 2013 Game Grower of the Month is…
Brian Gorodetsky of Belgrade, Serbia
Lacrosse is on the rise in Serbia, in no small part thanks to our February Game Grower of the Month, Brian Gorodetsky! Brian has helped to grow lacrosse in a primarily soccer-friendly country. The Canadian transplant is always looking for a way to bring the game to more countries and lower the cost of entry so everyone can get a chance to play this great sport. We hope this free stick from Easton helps him keep up the great work!
Congratulations to Brian Gorodetsky, LaxAllStars.com’s February 2013 Game Grower of the Month! To reward Brian for his efforts, Easton Lacrosse will be supplying him with a Stealth HS Head and his choice of the Stealth Scandium+ Shaft or the Stealth RS Ultralite Shaft.
Recently, we sat down with Brian to learn more about what he’s doing to help grow the great sport of lacrosse in and around his current residence of Belgrade, Serbia.
LAS: Can you describe the state of lacrosse in your area?
BG: Lacrosse is its third year of development in Serbia. Three men’s teams have been formed and we have officially hosted two international tournaments and a few development clinics. We are in the progress of developing a national federation for the sport of lacrosse and are working towards developing a national team for participation in the World Championships.
In addition, I am international school teacher and host clinics for both local and international students.
In what ways are you involved in growing the sport in your area?
I originally brought the equipment from Canada to encourage local hockey players to develop off-ice skills. The sport quickly caught on with university students and I became the head coach of the Belgrade Zombies lacrosse club. I have helped sponsor and host development clinics in Serbia and in Hungary. I have worked together with the FIL to develop contacts in the area and hosted coaches from the USA to run clinics out of Belgrade.
I also help organize lacrosse trips for the Belgrade Zombies and travel with them to neighboring countries including Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Croatia.
What is the biggest obstacle for lacrosse growth in your area?
The greatest obstacles are the cost of equipment, popularization of a contact sport in a country with traditional ties to soccer and securing affordable practice fields.
How did you get involved with the sport? Who taught you the game?
I played box and field lacrosse in Edmonton, Canada, for over 10 years and competed at the national level. We had an excellent team (many of whom are now playing in the NLL) and traveled all over Canada and United States. It was a great experience that I might have taken for granted while growing up.
What has been your biggest accomplishment when it comes to growing the game?
Giving a few university students the first opportunity in their lives to travel outside of Serbia.
Who or what inspires you most to help grow the game?
Tom Hayes. My original goal was to bring a piece of home to the new country in which I am living. My goal became global after contacting Tom Hayes for an equipment donation and learning about the great efforts that the FIL are making to gain Olympic status. After talking to him, I felt that I could really contribute both locally and globally to grow the game.
What is your favorite thing about our sport? What has drawn you to lacrosse the most?
I would have to say that it has always been a great community and that I was lucky to grow up in it. Playing for a representative team allowed me to travel and play the sport I loved. I would encourage all youth to experience the same in any sport that they find a passion in. I really enjoy meeting Canadian lacrosse players abroad and finding out that you know or have met the same people.
Do you have a favorite lacrosse team? Favorite player(s)?
Favorite Team is the New Westminster Salmonbellies. Favorite players are Ilija Gajic and his brothers because they have helped a ton developing the sport in Serbia. They came to Belgrade to meet the players when we started and always send a couple of bags of used pro equipment each year. They are tough on the floor but probably the kindest people I met off of it.
What do you do outside of the sport?
I teach physics, chemistry and general science at an international high school in Belgrade, Serbia. I hold a Ph.D. in chemistry from Simon Fraser University and travel a lot around Europe with my wife and two kids.
If you could change one thing about our sport, what would it be and why?
Find a way to lower the cost of equipment so that more developing countries can take part in the sport.
Congratulations again, Brian! A well-deserved honor. Keep on Growing The Game!
Do you know someone who deserves recognition for Growing The Game in your area? Click here to fill out the Game Grower of the Month nomination form. What an incredible year it has been in the lacrosse world!