US Lacrosse and the Sankofa Lacrosse Foundation have partnered to offer free youth clinics for boys and girls from underrepresented lacrosse communities. US Lacrosse will work with local organizations to plan and implement the clinics, while Sankofa affiliated players serve as the clinicians providing the hands-on instruction. Programs and organizations that offer lacrosse participation opportunities in which a majority of the participants are ethnic minorities are eligible to apply for local clinics.
The application process is open throughout the year. Local programs applying to host clinics should have experienced and committed leadership for delivering lacrosse programming, and must be able to provide adequate field space for the clinic.
“We believe there is significant value in connecting minority leaders and former players in the sport with the next generation of minority lacrosse players,” said Eboni Preston-Laurent, senior manager of diversity and inclusion at US Lacrosse.
Created in 2013, the Sankofa Lacrosse Foundation is focused on supporting efforts to expand the reach of the game, particularly in economically challenged communities. The SLF draws from its network of players and coaches to connect a diverse group of leaders in the lacrosse community with the next generation of lacrosse players.
“As the game continues to grow in popularity it also continues to price people out,” said Chazz Woodson, co-founder of Sankofa Lacrosse and a Major League Lacrosse and Team USA veteran. “We want to use these clinic opportunities to provide quality instruction to kids that may not often get that and to provide instruction from coaches and players that kids may not normally have access to.
“After each clinic, every participant should walk away feeling that they learned something, and more importantly, that they felt they were coached by somebody that cared about their well-being and their success," Woodson added.