BY ZACHARY CORMIER
The Lacoka Lacrosse Association is hosting a series of ‘Come Try Lacrosse’ nights for any athletes interested in gettinginvolved in the sport.
“Lacrosse is a very cardio-type sport. There’s lots of running in it. It’s indoors, so your practices and games are nevercancelled and it’s our Canadian National summer sport, so come give it a try,” said Julie Barnes, the female director for theLacoka Lacrosse Association.
The Association will host a total of three come try it nights on March 29th-30th at the Ponoka Secondary campus and onApril 1st at Burman University in Lacombe.
“We do have both female and the Bantam and Midget-aged boys on the 29th. The 30th is just the females, and then we dohave a drop-in, and that will be the younger age groups like the tyke, the novice and the pee wee,” Barnes said, adding theAssociation will have sticks available for participants to borrow if they need them.
“We have sticks to loan out to those who are just dropping in and coming to see what Lacrosse is all about and hopefullythey will sign up that night.”
The Lacoka Lacrosse Association has programs and divisions for all age groups, from mini tykes (five to six-year-oldplayers) all the way up to junior (athletes as old as 20).
“Lacoka is such a family-oriented association. We have kids from Lacombe and Ponoka counties and I think some from theRimbey area, Bentley and as far as Alix,” Barnes said.
The spring sport is a popular choice for many competitive hockey players as well as many young athletes who are lookingfor a way to remain active throughout the spring months.
“Lacrosse is a combination of basketball and ringette and a little bit, kind of, like hockey as well. What started my sonplaying lacrosse is he didn’t want to learn how to skate, so of course he didn’t play hockey. So he decided to go out andplay lacrosse,” Barnes said, adding that the physical nature of the sport may contribute to some people’s enjoyment of it.
“It’s very physical in that there’s hitting and it’s very aggressive, but it’s really no different than hockey. Hockey, at least atthe higher levels of the boys, it’s a very physical game and lacrosse is no different. Some kids enjoy that physicality.”
In addition to their usual programs, Lacoka Lacrosse is also offering a female program this year, and is currently looking forparticipants.
“The girls that are coming, some of them look like they’re not very aggressive or anything. But really when they get out onthe floor and you give them a stick, they pick up the sport very quickly. The kids just have fun.”
Barnes encouraged any girls who may be unsure whether they want to play lacrosse to attend one of the open-try nightsand give the sport a shot.
“If there’s girls that are unsure, come to this drop-in session in Ponoka. Come throw a ball around and come meet some ofthe girls that play lacrosse and you’ll see how much they love lacrosse.”
Practices for Lacoka Lacrosse programs are held in Ponoka for the first half of the season and Lacombe for the second half.Anyone looking for more information or wanting to register can visit the Lacoka Lacrosse Association web site atwww.lacokalacrosse.com or stop by one of the open try nights, which are taking place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March29th and 30th at the Ponoka Secondary Campus for female, bantam and midget players or from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on April1st at Burman University for mini tyke to pee wee-aged players.