Editor’s Note: We got wind of a really interesting international game that is being brewed up in England, which will feature local development officers from the US taking on members of the English National Team. The event is being organized by two former NCAA D3 players. Below you can see an article by Stephanie McNesby, which explains the game in more detail!
Devin Maxwell of Morrisville State University and Patrick Bassett of Ohio Wesleyan University have aided in reestablishing a Local Development Officer game over in England. Both Maxwell and Bassett are currently Local Development Officers for the English Lacrosse Association. Maxwell, who is a California native, works for the Wimslow Lacrosse Club and helps in the development of their junior and senior programs. Bassett, who hails from Illinois, works for the Cheadle Lacrosse Club, and also aides in the development of lacrosse in the club overall.
The name of the event is The LDO Show, which was inspired by the USO shows that helped and still help entertain troops while they were/are overseas. “Nick Shaheen came up with the idea, and it’s based off the USO going over to foreign countries to entertain the troops while they were away from home. They used to do shows to boost troop morale. As our idea is based off of this, and is a minimalist approach to it, we would like to put on a show for the lacrosse enthusiasts in England” says Bassett.
The LDO Show is set for November 24th, but they hope to finalize a few more dates. The LDO team, which is 90% compiled of Americans, will be playing an ELA Select team. This team is primarily made up of English National players and top English club players. The LDO team is excited that Northern Soul Sportswear, who is one of the leading lacrosse suppliers in England, will sponsor them for this event.
The sole purpose of this game is to grow the game and culture of lacrosse over here in England. “We are growing the game in a pretty broad way. A lot of kids over here do not realize how big lacrosse is at home. The point of this LDO game is to get the kids excited, to get them to come out and watch their coaches and other elite players. It’s to get them more into it,” Maxwell expresses.
Bassett adds: “We want to give the kids over here something to aspire to. We want them to think ‘when I grow up I could play for England’ or ‘I could go play in the U.S. at a university.’ They do not have that many opportunities to see elite lacrosse being played, because some clubs will not have any members on the English Squad on their club’s teams. So this game will give them the opportunity to see guys that were just like them compete in a high level match.”
It is hard to move away from everything you know to pursue your passion, especially when the children here predominately play soccer and rugby. So convincing them that they could be great at lacrosse is sometimes not enough. Maxwell said: “Lacrosse incorporates all the sports that these kids play like rugby and football, and that is what makes lacrosse appealing, as it is another avenue for these kids to explore. However, it is convincing these kids and their parents that lacrosse could be in their futures.”
This challenge that the LDOs face can sometimes be difficult, but not impossible. “Passion is what drives me,” says Maxwell. This is something he learned from previous coaches. Maxwell says: “I learned to feed off energy back in college from my coach. It gets kids excited to play-win or lose.”
The LDOs over in England get the chance to teach all different levels of talent while over here. ”It says a lot about the future of lacrosse in this country. Once you get them hooked they want to stick with it. We can create the culture that we have at home here if the kids get involved and stay involved. If they start young and grow through to the university level, whether they go to university in England or the U.S., they can then come back to their clubs to help coach and play. This will only improve the quality of play in the country,” Maxwell expresses.
Passion is what motivated both Devin Maxwell and Patrick Bassett to develop the game of lacrosse and its culture overseas. They are both talented athletes that want to help in the growth of lacrosse and youths in England. Hopefully as time goes on this event will keep growing to tour all of England/Europe.
Here is an LDO roster for the game: