After being gone for over a decade, Box Lacrosse has had a very successful return to Kitimat.
Kitimat Lacrosse Association head coach Trent Rowsell said the popular sport’s return to the town started on March 25, at the Tamitik Arena meeting room in Kitimat, where a Box Lacrosse community information session and sport demonstration event took place. Those in attendance had an opportunity to learn about the origins of the game and how it has evolved to become Canada’s official summer sport.
Also presented was a preliminary plan and timeline to initiate a partnership with the District of Kitimat to launch a new youth focused recreational sports program, which was set to begin in April 2017, if enough interest existed in the community to do so.
The result was over 80 interested families joining a contact list and several players being registered for a “Try Lacrosse” event that was held on April 9. Over 60 youth from Kitimat and even a few from Terrace took part in two one-hour events where participants learned basic lacrosse skills, such as holding the lacrosse stick, picking up a lacrosse ball, cradling the ball in the stick basket, passing, and shooting.
This led to over 50 youth registering to begin the season on April 19. Each day registration grew, as did the number of followers on their Facebook page. In order for their newly formed organization to function and thrive they needed players, volunteers, coaches, and funding.
The now titled Kitimat Lacrosse Association applied for non-profit charitable status. Their Board of Directors is in discussion with the B.C. Lacrosse Association (BCLA) to become an affiliated recreation association in the 2018 season.
The goal of Kitimat Lacrosse is to the see this sport growing in Kitimat and in north western B.C. This would include communities such as Terrace, Smithers, and Prince Rupert. This could be formed through partnerships with their respective Districts and in association with BCLA. In doing so we would strengthen the region (Zone 7 and 8) and create an opportunity for local teams to compete against other associations already formed in Vanderhoof and Prince George.
The association has adopted Kitimat Wolverines Lacrosse as the club’s brand, their slogan being: “Honour the Game, Build a Tradition, Grow our Community”. Their first season’s player registration was spread across three divisions: Wolverines 1: Tyke/Novice; Wolverines 2: Pee Wee; and Wolverines 3: Bantam/Midget.
The total number of registrations was approximately 65 players along with 10 coaches and trainers. Numerous parent volunteers helped carry the load when called upon to support their core board of directors.
Up until the big move into the Tamitik Arena on May 23, practices were held at the high school and the Riverlodge Recreation Centre.
The association was very fortunate to have a core group of coaches who grew up playing lacrosse right here in the Kitimat and in the surrounding area. We may have missed a generation of lacrosse players learning the game but there is a whole new generation who love it today.
The season lasted nine weeks, ending with a jamboree on June 17. This event served as celebration of their first season and looks to be repeated annually. The success of this event was evident as players from Kitimat and Terrace experienced a scrimmage game, a skills competition along with food and prizes for everyone.
A huge measure of thanks goes out to our local event sponsors for their generous prizes and event donations: A&W, Chalet Restaurant, Dairy Queen, District of Kitimat, Dollar Store, Kitimat Chamber of Commerce, Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club, Microtel Inn & Suites, Mstar Hotel, PF Pizzeria & Bistro, RCMP (Constable Jeremy Rands), Rio Tinto, Rosario’s Restaurant, and Save-On-Foods.
The Wolverines got together for one last time this season to celebrate Canada’s 150th at the Canada Day parade held in Kitimat.
A special thank you needs to go to Harley Bell and the Hill Climb Association for their generous donation of $1,000, which went towards the purchase of goalie equipment for our Bantam/Midget program.
Our 2018 season is positioned to be even more successful with a major focus on player, coach and ref development. Our goal will be form a travelling team or teams and to participate in the provincials championship event held annually in July. There will be opportunities for local businesses and the District to make donations toward our program so we are able to provide a complete sports offering to youth ages 3 to 18 in our community.
For more information about the Kitimat Lacrosse Association please visit us on Facebook or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.