Editor’s Note: During the FIL World Championships in 2011, Jordan West-Pratt was playing for Germany, and blogging for LAS. He provided a fantastic look into European Lacrosse, the World Championships experience and German lax. But he wasn’t done there! Now Jordan is experiencing lacrosse in Hong Kong and Growing The Game in a whole new way…
Greetings LAS readers, and thanks for having me back!
Last time I wrote for LAS I was reporting on my experiences with the German National Team in Manchester, England for the 2011 FIL World Championships. However, this past summer I moved to Hong Kong, and am now working with the local players here to keep Growing the Game! I will even be working on the coaching staff for the U-19 Hong Kong team that will participate in the upcoming World Junior Lacrosse Championships.
Even though I’ll be working with the U-19 team, the league here in Hong Kong is almost entirely college-aged players and older. There is a strong ex-pat presence, in fact there is so much ex-pat lax that there is a whole team of them. The HK Lacrosse League plays out of a phenomenal facility in downtown Hong Kong, and area known as Happy Valley. As you can see from the photo, the fields are inside of a horse track.
The buildings all around peer down onto the fields, and at night it is quite a spectacular backdrop for Lax.
Training starts in October and the first games took place two weekends ago. Team JJ, an all-expat team, took the first game of the season 17-1. The attack features Jay Wich (Harvard) and Vann Sternbergh (Yale). Most of the players I have met so far are still relatively new to the game, having played fewer than five years, and almost none of the local laxers have more than ten years in the game.
People here are extremely enthusiastic though and I encourage you all to join them on Fb (HKLAX). Guys are on there all the time posting tips and drills and articles form all over the world of lacrosse, and they would love some tips and tricks from the LAS faithful.
Some of the guys form last years Aquila Team, a couple ex-pats in the background.
Obviously there is a healthy rivalry with the Thai Lax team and regular readers will be familiar with Payu and the work he is doing, so you know the energy these guys can bring to such a rivalry.
Some of the players here have two WILC trips to their credit already, but like a lot of developing programs, the HK team has to draw form players who can afford the expense of travel. Players here talk a lot about Denver 2014, and there is even rumors of a box program which will attempt to prepare them for 2015.
If you are in HK and reading this, or if you want to more contact Louis Hou, the HKLA president, you can find him online at HKLAX.org.