Box lacrosse opportunities should boost sport for women

The Cowichan Valley Lacrosse Association and Cowichan Storm are looking for athletes interested in trying out box lacrosse.

Hoping to reinvigorate women’s lacrosse in the Cowichan Valley, the Cowichan Valley Lacrosse Association and Cowichan Storm are looking for athletes of any age who are interested in trying out box lacrosse.

While women’s field lacrosse has a long history in the Cowichan Valley, there hasn’t been a box program here, and organizer Naomi Walser is hoping that a box program will kickstart both field and box disciplines.

“To date, the only place for females in Cowichan to play has been in women’s field lacrosse [with the Cowichan Storm] with one team to play against in Victoria during the summer months,” Walser said. “With soccer and girls field hockey in the same season we want to offer something free and fun for girls to try lacrosse too.”

Until this year, Nanaimo hosted the only female box lacrosse program on Vancouver Island, with teams for players between the ages of eight and 21. This year, a new program also started in Victoria. Both the Nanaimo and Victoria programs send teams over to the Lower Mainland to play. With the creation of the box program, Victoria has also adapted their field lacrosse program to align with the Lower Mainland field lacrosse leagues that play from September to December.

Box lacrosse is played during the summer months on the same surfaces as ice hockey, so it makes sense to play field in the fall and winter. The skills from the two sports transfer back and forth very well.

“With B.C.’s mild climate, lacrosse players are able to take the sport back to the field during the winter with competition lasting from fall to spring,” Walser said. “We would ideally like to align with the rest of the province for season of play, but the first step is finding players.”

Walser also pointed out that field lacrosse is the biggest NCAA scholarship opportunity for women.

“Many players from B.C. are taking advantage of lacrosse opportunities and we want to be able to provide a place to play for females here in Cowichan as well,” she said.

Free drop-in women-only sessions are running every Wednesday from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Island Savings Centre until Aug. 19. All players ages eight and up are welcome, and basic equipment is provided.

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