On November 2nd of last year, I was lucky enough to take a bag full of lacrosse sticks on a trip through Southeast Asia with a fellow One World Lacrosse volunteer. We knew we would start our trip in Thailand, and end in Indonesia. Everything in between we would decide along the way. Lacrosse Outreach Foundation gave us about 15 mini sticks and balls to hold an impromptu camp for some kids out there.
We landed in Bangkok, Thailand and immediately took a bus north to Chiang Mai. We explored the lush hills and jungle for several days; petting tigers in a local sanctuary and riding our rented motorbikes to secluded monasteries in the mountains. After asking the locals of possible schools we could visit for our camp, we settled on a small elementary school in the outskirts of the city. With the big bag of sticks on my back, we cruised over to the school on our motorbikes. The visit was arranged to coincide with the student’s recess break and the kids were just leaving class when we arrived. Our first thought was, “we should have brought more sticks”. There were 200 hundred eager kids and 15 sticks… We started teaching the first group of kids the basics: throwing, catching, and primary goals of the game. Some of the kids were catching and throwing the ball with ease in the first few minutes. Later we set up a full field scrimmage using the tattered soccer goals at each end of the field. Everyone at the school was very eager to play and learn about the new game. The principal of the school came out and served us tea after the game and was very interested in how lacrosse is played. The teachers and students gathered around us as we answered their questions. We continued our journey after that day, but there is a good chance they curiously picked up the sticks and balls we gave them to play again.
OWL’s founders are MCLA Alumni and are currently looking for MCLA teams to serve as One World Lacrosse representatives for their schools.