Editor’s note: Every now and then we receive emails from people growing the game in emerging areas. This is one of the most rewarding aspects of our job because we know we can help by spreading the word and telling our readers all about it. Today, we’re happy to share a letter we received last week from Kevin Flynn in Missoula, MT about the 10Sticks Lacrosse Club out of Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation. The program is looking to outfit nearly 100 new players this year, and they’re putting forth a great effort to do so.
December 13, 2010
RE: 10STICKS LACROSSE CLUB 2010 ‘GEAR UP’ EQUIPMENT DRIVE
Dear Coaches, Administrators, and Supporters-
In 1987 I was lucky enough to discover lacrosse in the suburban outskirts of Detroit, Michigan. At that time lacrosse in Michigan was still an elite private school activity, and I was one of a small handful of ethnic minority players. By the time I finished as a two-time All-State and All-American Goaltender in 1994, I had played all over the Midwest and East Coast, had helped run goaltender clinics and summer camps, and had individually coached other goalies. Clearly, I benefited from the discipline, concentration, and athleticism of lacrosse.
Today, I am a Professor at Salish Kootenai College on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Western Montana as well as a Poet-in-Residence in various elementary, middle, and high schools on the Reservation. I work closely with many Native and non-Native youth as early as third grade, and many of them eventually do end up in my college classrooms. But not enough of them. That is why I am building 10Sticks Lacrosse Club.
10Sticks Lacrosse Club aims to build a social culture and a community centered upon Lacrosse on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. We are committed to the communal, the cultural, the academic, and the athletic excellence of our players as well as that of our players’ supporting family members, supporting friends, and supporting organizations here on the Flathead Indian Reservation and beyond. We aim to showcase the game of lacrosse as a major Native American contribution to the world and as a point of cultural pride for our member athletes, Native and Non-Native alike.
Here’s some of what we’ve accomplished so far:
1) In just 3 weeks of our existence, 10Sticks Lacrosse Club put lacrosse sticks into the hands of 87 different kids in the public schools on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Arlee Middle School and High School and Two Eagle River High School.
2) Two weeks after that, we had another 90 middle school and high school students playing lacrosse in St. Ignatius.
3) 10Sticks Lacrosse teamed up with Salish Kootenai College and a NASA program geared to promote math and sciences to Native youth; we taught Lacrosse and the Physics of Lacrosse to 48 Native and Non-Native youths in two two-hour visits.
4) As the Program Director, I was invited to attend a training and certification to teach Native Games by the International Traditional Games Society. I am now a Level I Certified Native Games Instructor. This will play a vital role bridging lacrosse to local Salish Kootenai culture.
We believe that lacrosse, when made economically and culturally accessible, brings out the best in our young men and women for themselves, for their families, and for their communities. We have just barely begun to create a buzz about lacrosse here on the Flathead Indian Reservation, and the high school and middle school kids keep asking for a team. So we’re feeling ambitious and are aiming to recruit, train, and retain 60 middle school and high school boys and 60 middle school and high school girls–Natives, Native descendants, and non-Natives living on the Flathead Indian Reservation and its surrounding areas.
Coaches and supporters, this is where we need your help. We have the cultural accessibility covered, but the economic accessibility will be a barrier for these kids. The high costs of equipment will keep the majority of these kids out of lacrosse.
Please support the 10Sticks Lacrosse Club’s ‘Gear Up’ Equipment Drive
As Christmas nears, please consider sponsoring one or all of our four teams by donating your teams used helmets, used shoulder pads, used arm pads, used gloves and used sticks for our boys middle school and high school teams.
For our girls middle school and high school teams please consider donating your teams used eye masks/goggles and used sticks.
Your tax-deductible donations of used equipment will be put to good use and will help make the game of lacrosse affordable for the youth here on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Please Send All Equipment Donations to:
10Sticks Lacrosse Club
Missoula, MT 59802
If you’d like more information about us, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, LAX community, for all of your support. We’re so happy to be adding another team to the ranks in 2011.
10Sticks Lacrosse Club