Instructor Naomi Walser leads girls in a passing drill during an all girls lacrosse try out at E.J. Dunn Elementary School.

Alberni girls check out lacrosse

The British Columbia Lacrosse Association is pushing to create girls only lacrosse teams.

ELENA RARDON

ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS

The Alberni Valley Minor Lacrosse Association and the British Columbia Lacrosse Association teamed up on Nov. 21 to hold a girls only introductory lacrosse session at E.J. Dunn Elementary School.

The session featured girls from ages six to 16, with no experience or gear required. Lacrosse professional Naomi Walser and AVMLA head coach Kelly Fines taught girls skills like scooping, cradling, passing and catching, and finished the session with a scrimmage.

The BCLA is pushing to create girls only lacrosse teams. “A lot of the incentive right now that is that a lot of girls teams are just starting up on the island,” said Walser. Women’s teams on the mainland have been around for 20 years or so, which means they are at a higher skill level, and there’s now a push to create beginner-level teams that can compete with each other.

“The goal is to introduce lacrosse to as many students as we can in communities where there is potential,” said Walser. “Especially with drop-in sessions and things like that.”

Alberni Valley Minor Lacrosse holds co-ed drop-in sessions once or twice a week to introduce the basics of lacrosse-—no gear or previous experience is necessary. A few girls have played on the local novice team, but Port Alberni has never had a girls only lacrosse team before.

“If we can grow from here out, we can develop a girl’s team,” said Fines. “There is interest.”

The Monday after school practice session drew a crowd of 18 girls from four different schools. “That was an amazing turnout,” Fines said afterwards, “especially at such short notice.”

“There is a huge comfort level involved in the girls only sports,” he went on. He explained that girls might have been drawn to the tryouts because they felt more comfortable with other girls, rather than a co-ed environment.

“There’s more opportunity for them to come and play.”

“Girls wanted to come because it was a girls only thing,” Walser added jokingly.

Walser pointed out that girls field lacrosse is the No. 1 scholarship opportunity in the NCAA, so there is a future in the sport for girls.

They tentatively plan to hold another session for the girls in January. For more information, look for the Alberni Valley Minor Lacrosse page on Facebook.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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