Editor’s Note: Welcome Andrew Fernando to LAS. Andrew is here to introduce the Tasko Cup box lacrosse tournament, as well as update us on the progress on boxla in England.
Lacrosse is growing! Whether you’re looking internationally, where this year’s World Championships will have more nations represented than ever before, or in Britain where there is growth of junior programs and the explosion of participation at universities, our great sport is becoming more popular every day.
However, in spite of the huge growth of the field game, box lacrosse has not made the same strides – but we’re getting there. Eight years ago, English Box Lacrosse was non-existent. Queue Jamie Tasko and Peter Dunits.
Up to now, the growth of box lacrosse in England has been constrained by the lack of facilities and recognition for the sport and these constraints have meant a real lack of playing opportunities for players. With the recent opening of the Solent arena and recognition from the ELA that box lacrosse can be viable platform for growth of lacrosse, I am hopeful that there will be many more playing opportunities in the years ahead.” - Jamie Tasko
In 2006 these two ex-pats from Canada helped set up Box Lacrosse in England. In 2007 England’s first Box team, the London Knights, entered the Ales Hrebesky Tournament in the Czech Republic and subsequently England entered the World Indoor Championships for the first time and, despite their underdog status, finished a respectable 4th.
Since then, the Knights have carried the banner for British Box Lacrosse and although we’ve gained success in Europe, there has only been limited growth domestically. But the tides are changing. The European Lacrosse League has finished its third season and given players the ability to showcase their talents. DreadLax have added to the competing English Box Lacrosse teams. Most importantly, however, this spring marks the founding of the Tasko Cup – England’s first Box Lacrosse tournament.
When most people first start playing indoor the obvious thing that they realize is how much more physical and faster it is- every 30 seconds, you get back on the floor getting involved. From then they’re hooked” – Alan Keeley
Chief organizer and England Box Captain Alan Keeley has been hard at work, organizing the event and running training sessions at the tournament venue at the Solent Arena in Southampton.
The initiative that Peter Dunits and I took back in 2007 started a top-down approach to building the sport. The grassroots work that Alan has done on organizing the Tasko Cup is just as important and may have a longer lasting impact on the sport. The tournament will have three England based teams, with about 40-50 players taking part, which is huge for box lacrosse in England.” -Jamie Tasko
The hopes of the tournament have been to improve access to the indoor game in England and with teams from France and the Czech Republic the tournament will give people in England the chance to get involved and watch the indoor game whilst also showcasing some fantastic lacrosse. So if you’d like to get involved please get in touch.