The Northwest Territories’ first lacrosse program is coming to the Deh Cho.
What is somewhat shockingly going to be the the territory’s first lacrosse program is being organized in Fort Simpson by Stephanie Hardisty.
Hardisty grew up playing lacrosse in Ontario, and says she wants her son to be able to have that opportunity.
She says she’s also spearheading the program because she sees kids in her community of Fort Simpson who could thrive at lacrosse.
It provides more activities for youth in our community and we’ve got some really amazing athletes here so it’s one way to get them into more sports and expose them to different communities and provinces.
The work towards getting the season ready has already begun, but Hardisty says there’s much more to go.
Have to start with the administration of an organization, look into some people that can help coach, obviously explore some camps around maybe in Northern BC or Alberta, look to see if there’s any games or tournaments to get into and in a sport that requires a lot of equipment and kids in the north that don’t really have the means of getting it donations are definitely a huge, huge benefit.
She says Overlander’s and the Aboriginal Sports Circle have both already donated equipment, but any donations would be graciously accepted to allow more kids to play.
Hardisty is still working out the details, but plans to run two age divisions for boys and girls, one from five and under and one from ten to fourteen. When it gets started she plans to run weekly practices at Thomas Simpson Secondary.
She says since everyone will be coming in relatively inexperienced, it’s a great opportunity for any kid to pick up a new sport.
It’s a game that’s going to be in it’s infancy here in the north. So anyone- whether they’ve played or heard of it before- can join. It’s good for kids who like to run, kids who like to play hockey, but if any of them have no sporting experience before in their life this is a great time to start.
Hardisty adds that the ten to fourteen year old group she will run practices with could have a shot at representing NWT at the North American Indigenous Games.
The schedule is not set at this time, but the hope and expectation is to be off and running within the next couple weeks.