Editor’s Note: Let’s all welcome miss Hui Ka Hei, former 2013 Hong Kong women’s team member, to the stage. Along with the Hong Kong Lacrosse Association, she continue to construct for us the greater picture that is the Hong Kong Lacrosse scene.
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The Hong Kong Lacrosse League (HKLL) started back in 2003. Over the years, it has developed into 2 divisions with 12 teams participating in 2014. On the other hand, the women’s lacrosse league began with only 4 teams in 2012, and by 2014, there were 7 teams of different lacrosse backgrounds competing.
Being a local player, the league not only allows you to display your personal lacrosse skills and experience but also to exchange these skills with players from different lacrosse backgrounds, especially those who are from overseas, the expats. Some expats form their own teams, some have joined local teams, and nevertheless, they all have influenced the games in Hong Kong significantly.
Throughout the development of Hong Kong Lacrosse, there has always been expats who supported and helped nurture the games. There are a number of the relocated who have actively participated in many of the lacrosse events in Hong Kong such as the league, trainings, clinics and even volunteered to coach the Hong Kong teams.
Here are some of the expats who dedicated their time and effort into supporting and developing our local games, bringing both Men’s and Women’s lacrosse in Hong Kong to the world stage.
Men’s Lacrosse Timeline
In 2000, Jeff Silk was the first ever Men’s team coach in Hong Kong and followed by Greg Pilarowski, who started the journey for Hong Kong men’s lacrosse to World Championship in 2002.
The mission continued in 2006 with the help of Chris Bossett and carried on in 2010 by Matthew Robert Caplin.
In 2014, with the aid of Scott Browning, the national men’s team achieved the ranks of becoming 21st out of 38 teams in the World Lacrosse Championship in Denver.
There have always been expats who participated along with the local players, inspiring others through their playing styles, namely Jordan Wong, Jordan West-Pratt, Jay Wich and Van Sternbergh.
Both Jordan Wong and Jordan West-Pratt coached local league teams, and elevated the clubs’ talents to the next level.
Apart from having their own team in the HKLL, Jay and Van, also played for the Hong Kong team in the World Championship in 2014.
Growth of the Women’s Game
In 2003, the first women’s coach, Katherine Schlatter took some of the local players to participate in the Hawaii Lacrosse Invitational Games to play as part of a joint team with different international players.
In 2008, Deborah Erwin coached and brought a full women’s team to compete in the Beijing Cup. A few years later Keiko Muramatsu, also a member of the 2013 Hong Kong Womens National Team, took a team of 18 players to New Zealand to participate in ASPAC 2011.
Most excitingly, in 2013 Noriko Uchiyama took flight with Hong Kong, making our first ever appearance with a women’s team in the World Cup.
Throughout the years in Hong Kong Lacrosse, Noriko has continuously dedicated her experience through umpiring and acting as a bridge between the Hong Kong Lacrosse Association and Japan Lacrosse Association. Both governing bodies have players on teams competing in the HKLL.
HKLL has come a long way since 2003, these developments would not have come this far if it weren’t for the passionate lacrosse expats supporting and influencing the Hong Kong lacrosse community with love and dedication.
To all lacrosse players from all corners of the world who once took us under your wings, we can never say thank you enough for growing our game.