As we continue to shine a light on countries working diligently to grow the game, we now take a deeper look into lacrosse in Ecuador.
Below is our conversation with Juan Marquez de la Plata of Ecuador Lacrosse.
We started showcasing the sport of lacrosse in 2015. We did this through two trips with Encore Lacrosse – one in 2015 and one in 2017. The goal was to create interest in the game. Here are the videos that showcase these trips.
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We then connected with local schools, returned in 2018, and implemented lacrosse into their PE programs. Unfortunately, due to the revolution in 2019 and the COVID-19 outbreak, all of our developmental events were cancelled, and this brought our program to a halt. The good news is that we are starting back up!
So Who is responsible for starting lacrosse in your country?
In 1987, I was in Ecuador visiting my family. I had my lacrosse sticks with me, and I would find a wall to throw everywhere I went. I told a few of my uncles at the time that it would be great if they played lacrosse here.
Well, it ended up taking 28 years. Originally, I helped start Mexico Lacrosse and was on the 2010 National Team that played in the World Championships. After the World Championships, I turned my attention to starting Ecuador Lacrosse. At the time, there were 35 nations that played, and the FIL was looking for growth as it was looking to get to the Olympics. Getting more nations on board was the goal, so that is why I started lacrosse in Ecuador.
How many players are registered in your country?
Currently we have around 350 players, mostly within the schools.
What kind of support do you need and how can people provide that help?
The biggest way to help Ecuador Lacrosse would be to receive gear donations and for players to come down and teach the sport.
What events do you plan to play in over the next 12 months?
We will be having a development clinic with Colorado Mesa University. They are going to be bringing down their full squad and staff to help with development and showcase the different formats of the game: field, box, Sixes, etc. This event will be held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, next June (2022).
What do you want lacrosse to look like in your country in 10 years? How do you plan on getting there?
We plan to be playing all formats of both men’s and women’s. We will achieve this through development events and implementation of lacrosse leagues in the local schools and universities. We’ll also be working with the EOC to implement the Olympic format.
Would lacrosse being in the Olympics help with the growth of the sport in your nation?
Absolutely! This is a big help for the sport. It will give the game exposure on the biggest sports platform. As an Olympic sport, the chance to play for your country is a big opportunity, and it unlocks funding for the program. This will help with growing the game!
Follow and support Ecuador Lacrosse on its Facebook page here.