BRIDGE is an initiative of US Lacrosse and operates under the direction and leadership of USL's Sport Development Department. BRIDGE affiliate leadership seeks to encourage and support existing member programs and provide information and structure to potential new programs. New programs that wish to affiliate with the BRIDGE Initiative are asked to submit an Application for Affiliation; upon review and approval by US Lacrosse, affiliated programs are entitled access to BRIDGE events and benefits. It should be noted that some youth lacrosse programs may benefit from BRIDGE information and guidelines but may be ineligible for or elect not to affiliate with the US Lacrosse BRIDGE Program.
New start-up groups, which may not be as established as some BRDIGE affilaite groups, may be eligible to apply as an Emerging Group.
BRIDGE member programs vary in location, size, development and focus. Existing programs follow a model of using lacrosse to work with young people from diverse and traditionally underserved populations, to bring positive influence, an appreciation of personal values and life-skill lessons to youth in communities not previously exposed to the sport.
In moving forward in growth and concentration, it is critical that current and incoming BRIDGE programs differentiate themselves from other youth programs, even those in unique geographical or nontraditional areas. The commitment of affiliated BRIDGE programs must mirror the US Lacrosse Areas of Strategic Attention 2002-2006 Section I.b, as delivered at the 2003 National Convention and clearly "expand efforts to establish greater socio-economic, racial and geographic participant diversity."
While the growth of lacrosse is integral to the overall mission of US Lacrosse, BRIDGE programs must distinguish themselves from all other "growth" programs in their commitment and application of promoting diversity as well as promoting life skills to their youth constituents. The manner and shape of these goals will manifest itself in the recruitment and core activities of each program. Affiliated BRIDGE programs will also receive access to special benefits and programs.
• BRIDGE Background
BRIDGE Affiliates provide integrated lacrosse instruction and life skills enrichment to youth from diverse and traditionally underserved populations.
For more information about BRIDGE Lacrosse please e-mail the Sport Development Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.