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Kids Lacrosse the World, Grow the Game in Kenya & Malaysia!

I’m pretty happy with where I’ve landed in the lacrosse community. As our world and game grows and grows, the distance between the people you know and the people you haven’t yet met is ever shrinking. I enjoy my position with Lacrosse All Stars. I’m able to not only see growth from afar and write about it, but I’ve also been fortunate enough to get out and see some of this expansion first hand all over the world. As you keep meeting new people and keep discovering how the six degrees of separation are more likely the two degrees in our expanding universe, you start to hear a lot of the same names over and over.

Elliott Couch is doing some big things internationally in terms of grassroots growth. While lacrosse has established itself traditionally in bustling metropolitan areas like the UK and in the bigger cities of Germany and Japan, Couch is reaching out to a significantly different market.

Elliott founded Kids Lacrosse the World as a 501c3 non-profit back in 2015. This charitable organization has the simple mission of empowering and educating youths in rural communities in impoverished nations across the world with lacrosse as a medium for changing lives.

Kids Lacrosse the World has touched down and started touching lives in three schools across two countries.

Kenya

Kenya lacrosse kids lacrosse the world
Photo: Kids Lacrosse the World

Couch has established a scholastic program in Butula, Kenya. Before KLTW had arrived, the only thing resembling sport was a deflated soccer ball the kids would kick around with no goal.

Over the various trips to the school, over 400 students have been introduced to lacrosse, with 30-40 kids playing regularly.

Kenya lacrosse kids lacrosse the world
Photo: Kids Lacrosse the World

The school in Kenya has 20 girl’s sticks, and a matching 20 boy’s sticks, and roughly 45 balls for the entire program.

They also have two handmade wooden goals to hang their donated nets from.

Malaysian Borneo

Malaysian Borneo Lacrosse kids lacrosse the world
Photo: Kids Lacrosse the World

The larger of the two programs has been established in the predominantly muslim region of Malaysian Borneo. The small town of Ranau has two schools working with KLTW. Over the various service trips, Elliott and his volunteers have instructed over 400 students, with 80-90 playing on a very regular basis. Please go ahead and reread that last sentence and then I dare you to pretend you’re not impressed.

45 sticks for the girls and 35 for the boys and they’ve got almost one hundred regular players. 3 locally-welded metal goals are available for the two schools as well.

Malaysian Borneo Lacrosse kids lacrosse the world
Photo: Kids Lacrosse the World

In my conversations with Elliott, you can hear the enthusiasm behind every word. He went into detail how these countries don’t emphasize healthy life choices or have any interest in sports. Where the expectancy of what one is probably going to do with his or her life is such a low bar, lacrosse is coming in as an escape from the ordinary and transcendence towards something new; hope.

This amazing non-profit has been supplied and operated exclusively by donations and partnerships. Kids Lacrosse the World is chiefly partnered with Lacrosse Unlimited, and Elliott went on to say that LU has been nothing but enthusiastic and generous in helping further this extraordinary endeavor.

In addition to that partnership, equipment and monetary donations have come in large part from the Denver area, where Couch works as a Special Education teacher in the city.

Malaysian Borneo Lacrosse kids lacrosse the world
Photo: Kids Lacrosse the World

Keep Going!

The future is bright for Couch’s fledgling non-profit. With well over 100 kids now involved in a game they previously knew nothing about, all eyes are to the sky in terms of what comes next.

“We’re still small, very small. With our size we have the benefit of being flexible and we don’t really know where this is going to go” Elliott said.

Service trips to both countries are planned for this summer, with solid dates to be solidified soon. In June, a group of students will head over to help grow the game. A little more than a month later, Elliott will lead another small group back over to Malaysian Borneo in late August.

Interested?

Elliott is actively looking for passionate persons to join up with Kids Lacrosse the World. He’s looking for ambassadors and interns to help spread awareness in their home areas, as well as help advocate for both monetary and equipment donations. If you’re interested in helping out with donations or you might like to accompany Elliott on a trip, feel free to contact him by email and give their website a look.

Chances are, if you’ve just finished reading this article, it’s because you enjoy lacrosse. Whether you play, you have played, or maybe you enjoy coaching, or you might just like to watch your sons or daughters play.

In any case, you have the game in your life, but millions of children don’t. They don’t have a lot of other things as well, sure. Maybe they don’t have adequate housing or reliable electricity, and I really have no idea how to fix that. We CAN give them lacrosse. There is a wonderful non-profit reaching out it’s hand to give not only a game, but the opportunity to step out of a predicament of poverty and into the great big world that this game has the power to show you.