BALTIMORE — The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) has made a leadership gift commitment to US Lacrosse that will help fund construction of the new National Lacrosse Center in Sparks, Md. In appreciation of the gift, the new US Lacrosse building within the facility will be named the "IWLCA Building at US Lacrosse Headquarters."

"US Lacrosse is extremely grateful to the IWLCA membership for this generous gift," said Steve Stenersen, president and CEO of US Lacrosse. "The result of their investment will strengthen US Lacrosse for years to come and advance the partnership between the IWLCA and US Lacrosse. We are humbled by the IWLCA's belief in our ongoing role to provide leadership and service to the sport."

The IWLCA, which represents more than 1,200 women's intercollegiate lacrosse coaches within Division I, II, III of the NCAA and the NAIA, has more than doubled in size in the last decade as the sport's popularity soars. More than 500 women's lacrosse programs and 15,000 women's lacrosse student-athletes compete in the NCAA and NAIA. The IWLCA serves its membership by seeking opportunities to support its college coaches, by honoring those who play and coach women's lacrosse, and by pursuing issues important to the game.

"The young players that come up through the US Lacrosse ranks eventually come to play for us," said IWLCA president Alicia Groveston, also the head coach at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. "The future of our sport is directly related to what US Lacrosse is doing, and we're excited to strengthen our relationship with US Lacrosse to help advance the sport."

"This is an extraordinary gift for US Lacrosse and a big statement of philanthropy from a women's organization," said Susie Chase, vice president of the US Lacrosse Foundation. "US Lacrosse is focused on serving all levels of the sport, and we're thrilled to see the universal support we've received to help us fulfill our mission."

Founded in 1998 as a result of the merger of nine national lacrosse associations, US Lacrosse now serves 450,000 members in 68 regional chapters around the country. A primary focus for the organization is education programs for coaches and officials. US Lacrosse trains more than 15,000 coaches and officials each year through online courses, in-person instructional clinics and supplemental resources.

US Lacrosse has a deep connection to the women's game, as the United States Women's Lacrosse Association was one of the organizations that merged to form US Lacrosse. The organization runs the US Lacrosse Women's National Tournament, which traces its roots to the early 1930s, and it oversees all aspects of the U.S. Women's National Teams Program, which has won 11 of the 14 Federation of International Lacrosse women's world championships played at the senior and U19 levels since 1982.

The US Lacrosse $15 million capital campaign is designed to meet the needs of the growing organization. The campaign includes the "IWLCA Building at US Lacrosse Headquarters" that will house more than 80 US Lacrosse staff members and serve as the training center for the U.S. National Teams Program. Campaign resources also will fund player safety research and increase playing opportunities for underprivileged youth through the US Lacrosse First Stick Program."

US Lacrosse tentatively expects to break ground on the new building in April with members of the IWLCA Board present as part of the ceremony. Occupancy is slated for mid-2016.

While the new US Lacrosse headquarters will be located near Baltimore, US Lacrosse has a broad national reach as evidenced by these examples of impact from 2014:

  • Awarded 94 First Stick grants to programs from 33 states
  • Conducted 102 coaches instructional clinics in 33 states
  • Introduced the sport via soft stick grants to 126 schools/organizations in 32 states
  • Provided 34 PCA sportsmanship grants to programs from 12 states
  • Awarded 24 diversity and inclusion grants to programs from 14 states
  • Hosted events with 464 teams from 34 states competing
  • Awarded 33 grants to local US Lacrosse chapters to help supplement grassroots efforts
  • Worked with more than a dozen leagues in the pilot process for the Gold Stick program, designed to bring national standards and best practices to local youth leagues

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