World Champs bound! - SDF provides lacrosse assistance
The Jamaica Lacrosse Association (JLA) men's team will become the first Caribbean country to participate in the Federation of International Lacrosse Association (FILA) World Championship Games from July 12 - 22 in Netanya, Israel.
The JLA, which was formed in 2013 was in danger of not sending a team due to lack of sponsorship. However, the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) stepped in and handed over a cheque worth $1.2 million at a press briefing at St George's College, yesterday.
President of the JLA, Calbert Hutchinson thanked the Ministry of Sports through the SDF for the late assistance.
"We were hoping to raise enough funds to send the team to the World Championship. The budget was over US$200,000. However, we had an international partner in the United States named the Jamaica International Lacrosse Association which was set up to raise funds for the trip to the World Championship," Hutchinson explained.
"They were able to raise US$65,000 through a Gofundme campaign on the Internet and we got US$120,000 apparel and equipment sponsorship from Adidas. The bulk of the funding was for accommodation, travelling, and meals for the contingent and FIL expenses. Time almost ran out on us and we asked the North American-based players to pay their fare. Of the squad 20 players are based in North America," he also said.
"We wrote a letter to the Minister of Sports, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, two weeks ago, and the letter was forwarded to the Sports Development Foundation and the response was very quick," Hutchinson shared.
"We had some hiccups here and there, but we managed to garner enough funding to make the trip to the World Championships in Israel. The sponsorship was not enough but we will be able to travel tomorrow and join up with the other members of the team. In total, we have about a US$10,000 shortfall, which we are working on to achieve," he added.
Denzil Wilks, SDF's general manager, said that it was very important to assist the JLA in making the trip.
"It was very important to assist the JLA because new games are coming on stream and catching on. Our foundation in sports starts in the school system. Once a sport is catching on in the school system it will go places. We saw good organisation in the JLA and thought that we should assists them in participating in the World Championships. Our directors came on board because we are about development," he said.
The JLA team reads: Goran Murray (captain), Alexander Benjamin, Mark Darden, Elijah Darden, Michael Hicks, Thomas Issa, Alexander Kelly, Robert Kelly, Delroy Lawrence, Hakeem Lecky, Courtney Morgan, Isaac Newland, Evon Redwood, Donahue Simpson, Nile Thompson, Bryan Depass, Joel Brown, Bryan Campbell, Niyan Oladipo, Jordan Williams, Jalen Paul, Nathan McPeak and Clifford Kurkey.