|First Stick Program to be introduced in over 100 lacrosse organizations this year |
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 11:16:14 AM
Last week, U.S. Lacrosse announced in a press release that 102 schools and community lacrosse programs were awarded First Stick grants for the 2012 season. The prizes were doled out among boys and girls lax and included both high school and youth programs.
The First Stick program is geared toward further expansion and standardization of the sport across the United States. Participants in the initiative become members for two years and have access to numerous services and resources to help them grow their league or team.
U.S. Lacrosse's Director of Programs, Billy Hook, said in the release, "We congratulate each of these recipients because there was a very rigorous application and selection process for the program. The benefits of this program are all encompassing and provide all the tools necessary to help new teams become truly self-sustaining."
First Stick provides equipment, coach training and rulebooks for grantees, as well as funding for participation fees, and purportedly focuses on the "confidence, teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership that can be developed through lacrosse." In order to qualify, the teams had to present a financial need and their benefit to the community. Through their two years with the program, these groups will learn everything from league administration to great practice drills for players in various age groups.
The winners included 66 boys' and 36 girls' lacrosse teams in all areas of the country, from California to Nebraska to Rhode Island.
U.S. Lacrosse said that it hopes that through efforts like these, it can foster national standards and appreciation for youth lacrosse and develop a larger audience for the sport across the country.