BALTIMORE – MetroLacrosse, the Boston-based nonprofit urban lacrosse program that promotes achievement in urban youth through the sport of lacrosse, held its first Urban Lacrosse Summit in Baltimore, Maryland today. The Summit drew together program directors, coaches, volunteers and those who want to start a program to learn best practices and share ideas for successfully creating and sustaining urban lacrosse programs, which are growing rapidly in cities across the country.
“We created the Urban Lacrosse Summit for the purpose of sharing the successful best practices developed at MetroLacrosse, other urban lacrosse programs, and sports-based youth development programs across the country,” said Emily Helm, president & CEO of MetroLacrosse. “The attendees at the Summit shared a love of lacrosse and the joy of bringing the sport to urban youth but, most importantly, we shared a common goal, which is to create and sustain programs that promote youth development and encourage young people to do their very best in school, college and into the future.”
The day-long Urban Lacrosse Summit, held at the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards, brought together more than 70 people representing 15 states. Attendees at the Summit received the newly released Best Practices for Urban Lacrosse-Based Youth Development: A MetroLacrosse Handbook for Starting and Sustaining a Program, created by the staff and leadership of MetroLacrosse, which is the only manual of its kind dedicated to urban lacrosse.
The event kicked off with a keynote address by Brown University Men’s Lacrosse Coach Lars Tiffany. MetroLacrosse followed with a “MetroLacrosse Best Practices Presentation” in which MetroLacrosse staff and Up2Us representative Megan Bartlett spoke about the importance of sports-based youth development programs and how they are growing across the country. Mike Levin, National Director of Programs and Education, spoke about MetroLacrosse’s efforts to expand its proven model of successfully combining lacrosse with mentoring and academic programs to other cities and to share that model with other urban lacrosse programs.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, who started Baltimore’s Charm City Youth Lacrosse was one of the participants in the panel titled “Strategies that Work – Starting and Sustaining an Urban Lacrosse Program” moderated by MetroLacrosse President & CEO Emily Helm. The panel also included representatives of urban lacrosse programs in Dallas and Philadelphia as well as Josh Christina, from US Lacrosse and Megan Bartlett, from Up2Us, a coalition of sports-based youth development programs from around the country.
The Summit continued with workshops in fundraising and coaching and concluded with a panel featuring alumni of urban lacrosse programs discussing the positive impact MetroLacrosse and other urban lacrosse programs had on their academic and personal lives.
About MetroLacrosse – MetroLacrosse is a Boston- based urban lacrosse and youth development program that uses the sport of lacrosse combined with mentoring and academic programs to promote personal achievement in urban youth and teens. The program was started ten years ago and today is the largest urban lacrosse-based youth development program in the country serving more than 700 youth and teens in Boston, Brockton, Chelsea and Lawrence, MA. To learn more go to www.metrolacrosse.com.