THROGGS NECK, N.Y. (May 16, 2011) – The Maritime men’s lacrosse team has announced a partnership with the group Operation Baggataway for the 2011-2012 school year. Baggataway is the original name given to the Iroquois game that the modern game of lacrosse is based on. Operation Baggataway is a charitable organization that takes donated used lacrosse equipment and sends it overseas to servicemen and women who want to be able to play lacrosse in their downtime. The soldiers also use the equipment to host lacrosse clinics with the local people to foster positive relationships.
The group got started in the fall of 2009, when founding members Thomas Boyle and Kevin Kaffl read an article in an issue of Lacrosse magazine that highlighted the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and his background in the sport. The Ambassador started a grassroots movement within the embassy to start a team, the Baghdad Rhinos. After seeing this, Kaffl and Boyle worked with the North Shore Lacrosse Club of Glen Head, N.Y., to get equipment together to send to the newly formed Rhinos.
Although the holiday season and some shipping snafus delayed the shipment longer than expected, three boxes worth of used equipment made its way to Baghdad in late February 2010. Soon a second team was formed at Camp Victory and practice and scrimmages were held. Only four scrimmages have been held because of the dangerous route between the U.S. Embassy and Camp Victory, but that has not deterred these servicemen and women from getting out and playing lacrosse.
The SUNY Maritime men’s lacrosse team will be donating all of their used equipment to Operation Baggataway. The Privateers will also be hosting a free youth lacrosse clinic in the fall on campus where they will be asking all in attendance to donate a piece of equipment to the cause as well. Maritime will also be honoring the brave men and women who make up the team at Camp Victory by dedicating the 2012 season to the Victory Hammers, the team located there. The hope of the men’s lacrosse team and Operation Baggataway is to collect enough equipment to supply every request by an active duty servicemen and women overseas.
Requests for equipment or more information on donating equipment can be made to head coach Dan Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org.