The Junior Squad has had a rather remarkable year although I wish I had a better memory and/or jotted down some of the highlights as they happened for fear of them being excluded in this ‘summary’.
First and foremost, it has been wonderful to watch the Junior Squad grow in size comprising around 30 players. To other sections that may seem a meagre membership count but lacrosse has historically struggled in popularity against other mainstream sports. Hopefully that has all become a thing of the past – initiatives such as National Lacrosse Day have been instrumental in promoting the sport locally and nationally.
LivLax remain indebted to the work of our former Local Development Officer, Monica White, who worked tirelessly offering taster sessions across many schools in Merseyside along with all three Universities whilst coaching and playing for LivLax. If you have forgotten what she looks like, here’s a picture of her, wearing a green cap, on a very rainy Saturday!
One of my favourite ‘rainy’ Sundays with Monica was on 22 February when the boys and girls played in the Junior ELA Tournament at Mellor. By rainy, of course I also mean sleet, snow and hailstones. Not surprisingly there are no photos from that tournament but it was the juniors’ first real exposure to a competitive tournament – the boys won all three matches whilst the girls also tasted victory in spite of the muddiest pitches I have ever seen. I will always remember Oli for daring to wear jeans that day and Katharine Hughes for standing in the rain cheering them on!
In March, we hosted a Quiz and Bingo Night at the Club to raise money for Alder Hey and LivLax. The event was a great success raising close to £500 whilst Ashley Bruen’s ‘Scouse Round’ should probably never be repeated again! It is always an uphill struggle in the first few years to source kit and equipment particularly because it’s all so expensive! However, a rushed application to the Lee Grainger Trust for funding just shy of £2,000 was successful. Thanks to Linda Musker for making sure I’m not too abrupt in my request for money! The money we secured from the Trust has allowed us to buy the junior boys brand new STX arm pads, Warrior Torch sticks, hard mesh kits and Cascade helmets.
For the first time in the history of Liverpool Lacrosse, the boys have been able to enter into an U12 league. They have made great progress over the year and stood united as a team when playing against very experienced clubs such as Timperley and Mellor. It is also great to see new players including Reuben and Harrison Denton as well as Christopher and Matthew Meadows quickly adopt a prominent play on the pitch. A special mention goes to Chris Woods who was nominated as Young Player of the Year in the 2015 Liverpool Sports Awards although the results of the Awards are yet to be announced!
The girls have worked hard over the season remaining committed to the coaching sessions despite some truly awful weather. A highlight for me was their game against Mellor in October where they displayed great determination and against all obstacles, including a six nil lead from the opposition, walked away with a win!
All in all, 2015 has been a phenomenal year. It has been lovely working with the juniors, the parents, Liv Lax and all those at the Club. Thank you so much for your support.
Here’s to an even better 2016. If you know any Juniors who would like to play lacrosse, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Happy New Year!