A little over two full years ago, the first ever Summer Rooftop Lacrosse session took place in Manhattan thanks to the blind faith, trust, and passion of Mat Levine of CityLax. 4 coaches, and about 10 players showed up on night one to a field that had luckily become available, and this thrown together at the last minute, loosely organized, free clinic limped slowly out of the starting gate.
Photo Credit: Jeff Melnik, Conquest Sports Photography
Week 2 showed little additional promise and the signs of improvement were almost nonexistent, as numbers were still low, and a slew of other issues came up; like kids needing equipment, weather problems, and an overall lack of excitement.
But Week 3 was a different story for some reason. I still can’t put my finger on why, but around 20 kids showed up, and two of them were goalies. Coaches came out of the woodwork, like lacrosse hungry termites, to get involved and help out. Kids were excited to be playing lacrosse. Extra equipment was being brought in, and shared. The weather held. CityLax made sure the sessions came at no cost to the players, and provided unreal support.
Rooftop Lacrosse was now walking upright, and the noticeable limp was gone.
Fast forward to last Summer, and Rooftop continued to grow in its second year. More coaches got involved, more players came out, the quality increased, and the passion level never dipped. Now, in its third year, Rooftop takes place two days a week in July, with a girls’ and boys’ session each week, and a dedicated women’s coach has been found in Whitney Thayer. In August, Rooftop will continue, move locations, and add a third day, for even more competitive scrimmaging and play.
Rooftop began with almost nothing. A field, some falling apart goals, and ten greasy lacrosse balls. What kept it going, and made it into something much larger has been the players and coaches, who show up each week and do their thing with the greatest of passion.
Through CityLax, the volunteer coaches and players of NYC have created something truly special in Rooftop Lacrosse. They have given birth to a very real thing, that will live on for years. Rooftop was started on a whim, when an opportunity presented itself, and it has grown into something much bigger.
What will you give birth to this Summer?