First Coast News — JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It’s the fastest growing sport in America- lacrosse. Bobby Stockton knew early on that it was the game for him.
“Yeah, after my first goal,” he said.
Stockton started playing at Nease High School. He now plays professionally as a member of the recently formed Jacksonville Bullies lacrosse team.
“It’s developing itself into an awesome game and I think it’s going to be one of the top games here,” said Stockton.
The Kicks For Sticks 5K held at the Jacksonville Landing today is aimed at helping other kids reach similar goals.
“It’s really important to give kids the opportunity to be involved in a sport and be part of something they may not have been able to be a part of,” said Brianne Toole, a spokesperson for the Jacksonville Bullies.
Money raised from the event will benefit the Lighthouse Lacrosse Foundation. The non-profit uses lacrosse to teach youth about the sport and can ultimately help them with college through scholarships.
“Since we have JU which is a division one team, that’s bringing it to Jacksonville so that’s giving the whole Jacksonville community and those kids who play lacrosse a chance to go on to other D1 schools and get scholarships, D1, D2, D3,” said Toole.
The efforts even got the attention of some big losers. NBC’s Biggest Loser contestants Olivia Ward and Hannah Curlee, who lost about 250 pounds combined, jumped in to help raise some funds.
“It starts with the adults. Kids learn from us so if we can be out here on a beautiful morning and encourage these kids to get out and run, it’s really great,” said Ward.
Those already in the game like Stockton said they hope to inspire more participation. “I think it’s a really growing sport and I’m just trying to get as many kids and fans involved as possible,” said Stockton.
With more involvement, it can continue it’s fast pace of catching on.