Growing the Game: Lax Goes International


Kids Lacrosse The World is an organization that focuses on growing the sport of lacrosse in rural communities throughout the world through community involvement and development at the youth level.  They strive to influence and impact the lives of youth through physical education and healthy lifestyles.  In May, Founder Elliott Couch and others visited the Butula Hekima Academy in Kenya, Africa to start a youth lacrosse program.

When they arrived, they started to build some lacrosse goals, made from a cut-down tree.   A crowd of students gathered around them, watching intently.  The students began to help lace the nets and in no time they constructed two full size, 6×6 working lacrosse goals.  The goals made the field, which was home to the grazing school cows and chickens, into the students’ very own lacrosse field.


The group worked out four sessions around the students schedule.  The sessions would fill the students’ breaks during the school day.

The typical day looked like this:

  • Session 1: 9-9:40 a.m.
  • Session 2: 10:20 – 11 a.m.
  • Session 3: 12-12:40 p.m.
  • Session 4: 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

They provided practice jerseys donated from UN1TUS in Ohio, lacrosse sticks donated from LacrosseUnlimited in New York, and balls from SlingItLacrosse in San Francisco.

Despite being in shock seeing Americans on top of experiencing the sport for the first time, the kids were extremely enthusiastic and eager to learn.  They learned to pass, catch, cradle, and turned out to be absolute naturals.  They worked their way up to 2-on-1 groundball drills, shooting drills, and intense games of steal the bacon, which they renamed “steal the sugar” as the local area is known for its sugar plantations.


Over the course of a week, Elliott Couch and others with Kids Lacrosse the World put in over 30-plus hours of lacrosse with the students and left behind the equipment for them.  The students took to passing around in their spare time and practicing whenever they could.

At the end of the week, they put together a family festival and friends event filled with fun games, lacrosse, and an appreciation meal with an anticipated 40-60 people.  To their surprise, there were over 300 people in attendance.  Even some of the teachers joined in on the festivities.  They played limbo, a lacrosse relay competition, and groundball battles.  They took a quick dance break, learning dances from the “Electric Slide” to the “Cupid Shuffle,” then started a “steal the sugar” tournament.  The entire crowd cheered the kids on.


Overall, the week was extremely successful and Kids Lacrosse the World plans to continue that tradition.  Over 200 kids and many others learned about the sport of lacrosse and had a lot of fun during the process.  Undoubtedly, the lives of these little laxers will be changed forever.

Where do you think Kids Lacrosse the World should go next?  Click the title to comment.


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