Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the country, especially in the amount of scholarships available. One of the biggest areas that offers lacrosse at a young age in the school systems is central and upstate new york. It offers student athletes opportunity to compete at a high level, gain scholarships other than football, basketball, or baseball. Lacrosse also teaches the kids about being a good citizen. It is a great sport to play.
A group of area athletes developed the organization called City Lacrosse. They have joined together with the Buffalo Police Athletic League (PAL) to bring the game of lacrosse to the inner city school systems. The organization received a very generous grant from US Lacrosse (the national governing body of the sport), in order to give kids more opportunities to get scholarships and an education in something other than the traditional sports.
Their core curriculum is outlined by A.S.I.P.I.R.E. Attitude, Sportsmanship, Pride, Identity, Respect, and Education. It teaches kids that education is number one. Although it’s said that sports can take you anywhere, it’s most important to have a good education with it. They try to build character first, and then their athletic ability.
Over the past month, 6th through 8th graders have been playing every Saturday at the Waterfront School on the West Side. I decided to join the activities this past Saturday and I have never seen kids so happy about playing a sport. They were asking for help and really took the game to heart. For only a few practices, the kids were actually extremely good. The coaches did a wonderful job of communicating and explaining the real meaning of being a student-athlete. It was obvious that the coaches really care about what they’re trying to do and are putting in all the effort they can.
I was very proud and happy to see such positive attitudes in the city. I have played lacrosse for 15 years, and have always wondered why lacrosse hasn’t become a part of the curriculum around the area, especially with the talent in Western New York. Opportunity is the main objective of the organization. This program is a great way for kids to travel and get a great education. I suggest all kids in the City of BUffalo try to play lacrosse, I promise they will fall in love with the sport. Hopefully with the support of families and coaches in the area, the inner city will become a hot spot for lacrosse.