Editor’s Note: Welcome Brian Potter back to LAS! Brian is living in Europe and is heavily involved in the lacrosse scene there. He plays with the Deutschland Adler Lacrosse Club, has trained the German Military University’s players, worked with the Spanish National Team hopefuls, and played in the box tourney in ISAR. What a life of Growing the Game!
LAX-LAB Bilbao: European Youth Camp of the Future and the Present!
I know it has been a little while since I have written about the happenings in the Euro-Lax scene, but there is still a lot going on. Some exciting European Youth Lacrosse News is the upcoming 7 day overnight lacrosse camp taking place in Bilbao, Spain, appropriately named LAX-LAB. Boys and Girls U16-U19 will have the opportunity to train like professional laxers in an Olympic training center.
LAX-LAB was developted by two Spanish players, Iker Peregrina (of the Bilbao Black Crows) and Álvaro Grijalba (of the Madrid Kings). Iker started playing lacrosse in 2012 when he fell in love with the game and in only one year created a program in Bilbao and had them competing in the Spanish National League. Álvaro started playing in 2005 while attending Arapahoe HS in Denver, where he was coached by my former teammate and Mammoth legend Brian Langtry. I guess Langtry inspired him as upon his return to Spain he immediately became one of the major players and growers of Spanish Lacrosse. Alvaro competed in the Worlds in 2006 and 2010 representing Spain.
The camp is taking place July 28th – Aug 4th in the Coastal City of Bilbao, a city rich in beauty, culture, and modernity. Iker and Alvaro asked me if I could help out and organize the coaches and the lacrosse schedule and, as you would imagine, I accepted with enthusiasm (a week on the Spanish Coast!).
One of the really innovative elements of this camp is the incorporation of site-seeing and non-lacrosse related adventures. Yes, I said adventures. Players will spend the mornings and early afternoons developing their lax-skills from top level North American coaches and then they will have the opportunity to choose from different daily adventures.
Some of these activities include site-seeing Bilbao, visiting the Guggenheim, Hiking the long beaches and mountainous Cliffs which surround Bilbao (absolutely beautiful), or relaxing on the beach and soaking in the rays of the Spanish sun.
Now for those extreme laxers there will be an option to play lacrosse all day. Specialty clinics will be offered every afternoon and evening. For those that don’t venture into town, the mountains, or down to the beach, they can use the fabulous on-site facilities. The facilities are sweet. Players will live and train the same place Olympic athletes/teams use. Players have their own bathrooms, in room WIFI, a weight-room, sauna, Olympic pool, and a hot-tub. The beds are full sized and players are fed the same food that top level Olympians receive when staying there. Not bad for a youth camp.
The camp is directed to players from Europe, USA, and Canada. The coaches will come from the same places. I wish my parents sent me to a camp like this when I was younger… culture and lacrosse in one place! What an experience, and what a chance to meet new people. Talk about networking for the future! As an ex-pat myself, I understand the value of having friends all over the world, and learning about different cultures.
To conclude the week, the Spanish National team, along with some regional club teams, will descend on Bilbao and play a tournament with the Lax-Lab crew.
For more information on this visit http://www.lax-lab.com or follow them on twitter @LAX_LAB – “LAX-LAB Summer Camp”.
Hope to see you in Spain!
Check out the swag these guys made for the Camps!