How Does Turkey Lacrosse Grow The Game?
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How Does Turkey Lacrosse Grow The Game?

As the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2015 moves even closer, we ask each nation exactly how they Grow The Game on home soil. These interviews reveal how each of the WILC nations work to not only grow the strengths of their national team, but how they are working to grow lacrosse throughout their country.

Its time to look at the growth of Turkey lacrosse. We asked founder and Turkey Lacrosse Association president Patrick Dougherty to share his experiences with growing the game and the steps lacrosse in Turkey needs to take to really make an impact locally.

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LAS: How would you describe the lacrosse scene and the growth of the game in Turkey?

Dougherty: Our program is steadily growing each year. We have just been recognized as an official sport in Turkey and hopefully next year we shall see some government funding heading our way to truly expand the sport.

WILC Nation Preview Turkey
Istanbul Sultans at AHM 2015

We just completed our second National Championships with the Izmir Warriors taking the crown away from the Istanbul Sultans (2014 champions) so the progression of establishing a true league is in full swing.

What are some steps that those of us outside of Turkey can take to better understand its culture?

Turkish culture is one of warmth and friendliness. Turks will open their doors to you and give you tea and coffee and plenty of food. Turkish cuisine is some of the best in the world and involves all sorts of meats in various different ways like Durum, Iskender, kofte (meatballs) and much more.

Turkish people are very prideful and love their nation and national teams.

What steps are being taken to grow the game locally in Turkey? Quick follow-up, what are some of the long-term goals for future growth?

We are now an official sport in Turkey which means we should begin receiving funding in 2016 from the sports government to grow the game and acquire items such as equipment, training facilities, and coaches. Each city with a lacrosse program continues to train each and every week year round.

WILC 2015 Nation Preview: Turkey
Istanbul Sultans competing at AHM 2015

Establishing a league and connecting lacrosse to not only university and high school students but to the youth-the real future of Turkish lacrosse.

Turkey has a very young population. There are approximately 80 million in the country and half are under the age of 30. We have a great potential here as long as we can reach the people since Turkey is a very large nation and the government support should allow us to do this.

Are there any opportunities for foreign volunteers to get involved with the growth of the game in Turkey? If so, where can one find more information?

ABSOLUTELY. They can contact Patrick Dougherty at admin@TurkeyLacrosse.com

What are the steps Turkey is taking to elevate the talent pool?

Turkey vs Czech Republic World Lacrosse Championship Abigail Kaden
Photo Credit: Abigail Kaden

We train each and every week. Participating in world events like the WILC and World Fields has also helped and will continue do so.

Players will come back to Turkey and share their experiences and new knowledge with the other local players in their cities. Once we establish a proper league, we believe this will also increase the talent pool within Turkey.

Is there anything else you would like the worldwide lacrosse community to know about your team and your country?

Turkey is the first nation of our kind to be playing lacrosse, being members of the FIL and ELF. We are also the first to participate in the World Fields and now the WILC.

Turkey vs Czech Republic World Lacrosse Championship Abigail Kaden
Photo Credit: Abigail Kaden

We are paving the way for other countries like ours to join in the expansion of lacrosse. Our country and program takes great pride in this. Lacrosse truly brings cultures together and aids in breaking down barriers. We strongly believe in this and we believe we are leading the way for other nations like ours.

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Learn more about lacrosse in Turkey by checking out all of the other great LaxAllStars.com content from Turkiye!

If your interested in growing the game in Turkey, visit the TLA website for more information.