The chance to introduce the sport of Lacrosse to Tokoroa High School students came by way of an invitation from Dean Forman and Ursula Johnson. The two had organised a Waikato girls’ team training session that was to be held at the Tokoroa sportsground in April. I took the opportunity to go and watch the 3-hour session.
My first initial thought was that this was a sport new to me, but it was exciting as it showed many different combinations of running, evasion, reaching, extension, agility, vision and other skills.
Then I referred back to the registration list and noticed that the game can offer the students everything, without doing fitness testing or specific fitness training. Just by playing Lacrosse enabled participants to improve their conditioning levels. The sport, with all its running, provided the necessary fitness and skill to give the students a sound fitness base.
There is evidence of this ‘playing the game to get fit’ theory within The Tokoroa High School team after 6 weeks of competition. For example, two girls were only running 10 to 15 meters in their first game, but progressed over the ensuing six weeks to running up to 100 plus meters. They have moved from playing in a safety position to becoming attacking players.
We initially started with 21 girls signing up to play Lacrosse. However, the clash with other sports like Netball, Football and Rugby forced girls to choose one for the winter season. This reduced our numbers to ten, with seven of these girls having never played sport.
Lacrosse has not only helped the girls participate, but has also given them more self-confidence and a sense of belonging.
One quote from a student saying that she has never heard her name been called out and cheered for from a sideline and it was so unreal to hear, she felt so privileged.
We would also like to take this time to thank Dean for his continual support in developing our Team.