It was all about lacrosse on a late December day, 2010 at Carter Park in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Through the collaborative efforts of National Lacrosse Stars like Doug Shannahan and Chazz Woodson; along with South Florida Lacrosse Entrepreneur, Bo Lamon; the inner city youth of Fort Lauderdale were treated to a full day of lacrosse. The day began with a free lacrosse clinic for elementary school youth from the inner city areas of Fort Lauderdale and culminated in a highlight filled game of lacrosse that pitted Woodson’s Miami-Dade 305 Team against Shannahan and the Fort Lauderdale Flamingos.
In the morning session over 50 local athletes were treated to an introduction to lacrosse with equipment provided by the Florida Youth Lacrosse Foundation and Lacrossewear. South Florida recreational coaches along with members of the Fort Lauderdale Flamingos (former collegiate standouts themselves) ran the players through the fundamentals of lacrosse. “We are here for a unique cause; to allow kids who might have never heard of lacrosse experience the thrill of the fastest sport on two feet.” said Rich Barba a former college player and the elder statesman of the Flamingos who went on to say, “For us it is about passing on the love of the game”
The entire event was coordinated by Bo Lamon of Lacrossewear who is himself an attackman on the Flamingo team. Lamon worked with the City of Fort Lauderdale officials and administrators to ensure that the event would be a success and a memorable day for the kids. He also reached out to the directors of the Fort Lauderdale Lightning Lacrosse Club. The Lauderdale Lightning is the local recreational lacrosse league for boys and girls ages K – 8th grade. “We were eager to be there and promote the sport. We want the kids of Fort Lauderdale to know that there is a local recreational league for them” said director and co-founder of the Lightning, Jan Northrop. FLLLC is a 501c3 non-profit organization and member of the South Florida Youth Lacrosse League. “Our goal is to provide all of Fort Lauderdale’s athletes with the opportunity to play, especially to those who have never seen it before,” said Suzy Caldwell, a director of the girls division for Fort Lauderdale Lightning Lacrosse.
Lamon’s company, Lacrossewear also provided free lacrosse jerseys and giveaways to all of the participants. The kids were especially excited to have the opportunity to meet and talk with two professional and celebrated lacrosse players from the South Florida community. Doug Shanahan from Fort Lauderdale and Chazz Woodson from Miami were on hand as part of the staff. Shanahan has the distinguished honor of being the recipient of the Tewaarton Award- the lacrosse equivalent of the Heisman trophy (see www.tewaaratonaward.org). Woodson is an electrifying player who is noted for his flashy and clever style of play. Both men coach local high school lacrosse and are highly motivated to “grow” the sport of lacrosse in South Florida.
“The kids really seemed to enjoy it” said Lamon. “Yeah, we certainly hope some of them come out and play with us in the spring!” responded Northrop. It truly was a great day for the sport of lacrosse!”