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  • Writer's pictureSummer Aldred

Detroit City Recreational Lacrosse, changing the game in Detroit.

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Over 100 youth picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time this summer. Every Tuesday and Thursday from July through the beginning of September, kids between the ages of 5-13 gathered at Tindal Recreation Center and Lasky Recreation Center for 90 minutes of lacrosse instruction, character development, and fun games that tied it all together. Together, they are changing the game.

Detroit United Lacrosse's recreational lacrosse league is focused on teaching the sport of lacrosse to youth of all ages 5-15, from Little Laxers to early high school exposure. Our top priority is creating an introductory environment where all are welcome to learn lacrosse and fall in love with the game.

Each practice began grounded, with a pledge.

At Detroit United Lacrosse, we believe intentions matter. We also believe the game of lacrosse is a gift. Lacrosse was first created by the indigenous people of North America, with the game developing over thousands of years. In the Great Lakes region and in present day Detroit, the Anishinaabe people played a version of the game with deep cultural and spiritual ties.

Each practice, our youth were reminded of this history through our pledge.

"I pledge to honor the history and roots of lacrosse and believe that: I am a leader, I am courageous, I am a role model. I am a lacrosse player changing the world".

Lacrosse's narrative has changed from its' indigenous roots. Now, lacrosse is commonly known as a privileged, predominantly white sport. According to NCAA data, 84% of women’s college lacrosse players identified as white, while only 3.5% identified as Black. This was very similar on the men's side of the game, with 85.5% white and 4% Black athletes. Detroit United Lacrosse is working to change that narrative, channelling the indigenous belief that this sport was made for everyone, regardless of race, socio-economic status, or background.

Each week, we focused on a new character trait.

Our mission is to use the sport of lacrosse to unify the youth of Detroit’s neighborhoods by promoting character education, personal development and pathways to prosperity, instilling the values of the sport: respect, honor, courage, and integrity. Every week our youth participated did drills, exercises, and played games that focused on the trait that was being highlighting that week. We had an awesome team of volunteers and staff, including our high school athletes, the Detroit United Panthers.

Biweekly, we brought Lasky and Tindal together to play in small-sided games, where our youth learned the values of teamwork and built upon their skills. Their laughter and joy after scoring a goal was contagious! We are so proud of how much our youth developed over the course of this season, and we cannot wait to welcome them back next summer!

Lacrosse season still isn't over!

Many of our summer athletes returned to play fall lacrosse with us. We are currently playing lacrosse every Saturday at Lasky Recreation Center for youth between ages 3-13 from 10am-noon. You can find out more information by clicking here!

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