Canada’s national summer sport is maintaining a strong foothold in the Castlegar area with the West Kootenay Minor Lacrosse Association.
Devon Reid, who (like others helping out) juggles multiple titles and levels of responsibilities with the association, said there are only two lacrosse associations in zone 1; in Castlegar and Cranbrook.
“There are four games plus playoffs,” said Reid, who is not only the president but the coaching coordinator and head coach of the bantam team. “Some parents from Grand Forks drive four nights per week to practices.”
Last year, all of the competitive games were played in Castlegar, with Cranbrook players making the almost three hour drive each direction. This year, the situation is reversed.
On Saturday, May 4 the association will be having a combination bottle drive/bottle drop off, bake sale and barbecue by donation from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at The Brick, located at 4445 Minto Road in Castlegar.
The fundraiser helps keep things running for all the players.
“Nets are almost $4,000, shot clocks are $1,800,” said Reid. “Parents pay the fees, etc., for the children to play but we have to fundraise for other gear for the association.”
There are Novice (5 to 10-year-olds), PeeWee (11 to 12-year-olds), Bantam (13 to 14-year-olds) and Midget teams (15 to 16-year-olds) playing this year — about 70 to 75 players in all.
All the teams are going to provincials in July with the exception of the novice players because of their age.
The PeeWee team will be going to Kamloops, Bantam heads to Delta and Midget will be en route to Port Coquitlam.
“It’s a great cross-training sport,” said Reid. “One of the most famous cross-over players was Wayne Gretzky.”
He added that if you know lacrosse, you will see some familiar moves from The Great One. Specifically, the way he would “roll off” players at times — while Gretzky was naturally gifted in many areas, that is a specific skill taught through lacrosse.
The association has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/452949404733577 or you can email them at WKMLA@hotmail.com if you would like to help volunteer, fundraise or learn more.