Saturday, January 31, 2009

Glad to Be Part of the Growth of Lacrosse in the Atlanta Area

For almost a year now, I've had the pleasure of volunteering for the Henry County Family YMCA, helping them establish a youth lacrosse program for boys ranging in age from 10-15. Last season, we had about 20 kids total show up - barely enough to field one team, let alone a team in each age group.

This year, after two pre-season clinics, we've seen more than 60 kids show interest and are planning to have a team in each age group - and we may have enough girls for a team as well. It looks like we'll have 4 home games and 4 away games (we only had two scrimmages last season), so all the returning and new players are very excited.

I really buy into the Y's mission of "Building Strong Kids. Building Strong Families. Building Strong Communities.", and see the positive effect organized team sports have on kids through the Y. Of course, volunteering really just gives me an excuse to run around the field and pretend I'm still 21 each week.

It would be an understatement to say I'm excited to see lacross growing in metro Atlanta, especially on the southside of town. Of course, I'm not surprised, since this is a national trend that is even more pronounced in Georgia.

Lacrosse is now the fastest-growing sport at the high school level in Georgia. In 1999, there were seven boys and six girls teams. There are now almost 100 high school teams (46 boys and 48 girls) in the State (Source: AJC).

Nationwide, lacrosse is growing at every level across the country. According to a recent BusinessWeek article, about 480,000 people played lacrosse last year, nearly twice as many as in 2001." There are currently more than 400 college teams and more than 1,200 high school teams in the U.S.

Want to learn more about lacrosse? Check out the web resources I provided below. Even better, do you live in the metro Atlanta area - somewhere on 75S - and want more information on the youth lacrosse programs offered by the Henry County YMCA? If so, visit their site here or comment on this post.

Have you seen exposive growth for lacrosse in your part of the country?

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