When you think of sports Bermudians are good at, football, cricket, and sailing spring to mind.
But Bermuda Lacrosse Association member Sean Tucker is hoping to add lacrosse to that mix, and says the benefits would be huge. First introduced as a “beer league” in 2002, lacrosse in Bermuda has been slowly gaining momentum and culminated in a 24th place finish out of 38 at the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships in Denver this month, which included a 9-7 win over France. National team midfielder Tucker’s goal now is to bring the sport to the youth of Bermuda.
“Bermuda could easily be a top-10 team if we got the youth involved,” Tucker told the Bermuda Sun.
“Our island is full of great athletes and Olympians even though our population is so small. Iroquois Nations invented the sport and even though their population is less than 130,000 people, they still placed third in the world this year.”
But perhaps more important than that are the scholarship opportunities excelling at lacrosse would provide young people looking to go away to school.
“Parents need to understand why lacrosse is unique to other sports. Many of the top schools in the US and Canada at both the Division 1 and Division 3 level have lacrosse programmes.
“Lacrosse players that apply to these schools are supported by financial aid and scholarships. Scholarships are given to the Division 1 players and financial aid is provided to the Division 3 players that need financial assistance.
“Lacrosse may be the fastest-growing sport in the world but it is still played by far fewer people than other major sports like football. Players can easily distinguish themselves from other prospective students applying to school overseas by learning how to play lacrosse.”
It is with that in mind that Tucker and the Bermuda Lacrosse Association are currently working on, establishing parallel programs to help the youth of Bermuda.
“Ultimately, our vision is to create an infrastructure in which we can establish two parallel programmes,” added Tucker.
“One that focuses on helping young Bermudians with their school work and the university application process and the other that helps them stay active by learning about and playing lacrosse at a competitive level. Growing the game is only one part of our mission. More importantly, we want to educate the youth about the benefits of a higher education and how early success in both academics and sport can help open doors that were previously closed.”
The four-member lacrosse association has been able to compile around 30 sets of the relatively expensive lacrosse equipment as they look to start a youth league on the island.
“Lacrosse gives every young Bermudian a chance to play for their national team and represent their country in the world championships,” said Tucker.
“We just need the youth and their parents to buy into our mission.”
Those interested in getting involved with Bermuda lacrosse can contact Sean Tucker at email@example.com