FIL Colombia Clinics Spread Game to Latin America
from staff reports
ONATRIO, Canada — Tom Hayes, Board Director for Development at the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) is pleased to announce the completion of development clinics and meetings in Bogotá, Colombia. The clinics, held earlier this month were run as a component of FIL's emerging nation development strategy and included an FIL equipment grant.
The clinics were held in Bogotá and run by FIL clinicians Kevin Dugan and Merrill Stillwell. The program spanned five days and included several training clinics, development consultations and a meeting with Coldeportes, the institute of sports in Colombia.
On-field clinics covered all aspects of the game and focused on building solid fundamentals. Daily practices built up to a full-field scrimmage on the last day of clinics.
"The speed of development in Bogotá is impressive and we loved seeing so much passion for the game," said Stillwell, a clinician on the trip. "The Colombian women's and men's teams both have great long-term potential."
The FIL's presence in Colombia and their ability to connect developing programs with their national sports associations has improved dramatically since becoming a member of SportAccord this past year.
Hayes was named Lacrosse Magazine's 2012 Person of the Year for his effort's driving SportAccord membership and international growth of the game.
"One of the most significant components of this trip was a meeting with Coldeportes to help Colombia Lacrosse develop a vision for institutional development," said Dugan, a clinician on the trip. "Our meeting with Coldeportes was a great example of how the FIL's association with SportAccord is already bringing credible benefits."
"This meeting enabled us to present the sport of lacrosse to the Colombian government in a formal, legitimate manner," Colombia coach Miles Makdisi said. "It also provided us with a plan of action for how to establish lacrosse as a government recognized sport with a balanced structure and a plan of sustainable long term growth.
"Receiving the equipment grant from the FIL has helped our growth process take another giant step forward," Makdisi said.
A lack of access to equipment is nothing new for developing lacrosse nations and is a challenge the FIL continues to face as the organization supports the growth of lacrosse in new countries.
The equipment grant and clinics also served as a huge source of support for the growing presence of women's lacrosse in Colombia. According to Stephanie Espin, goalie for the women's program, "We really benefitted from the FIL's hands on approach not only in the training sessions, but also in helping us understand what steps we need to take to develop as an organization. We have huge hopes for men and women's lacrosse in Colombia, we want to compete with the best and make our country and our coaches proud of us."
Interest in the game continues to grow and anyone interested in learning more about Colombia Lacrosse can visit www.colombialacrosse.com.
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