Jamaica Lacrosse Association seeks funds for U-19 women’s team
The Jamaica Lacrosse Association (JamLax) is sounding a desperate plea for financial support as it seeks to field the first- ever female national team at the upcoming Federation of International Lacrosse women's under-19 World championship in August.
The historic women's team will be looking to compete against the likes of defending champions and host nation Canada, Australia, Belgium, and Team USA in Peterborough, Ontario, for 10 days, starting on August 1, and features the top talent from the local secondary schoolgirl Maroon Cup competition.
JamLax has recently been running a fund-raising campaign across various social media platforms, appealing to locals and members of the diaspora for assistance with expenses related to the upcoming competition. A GoFundMe page linked to the team's official Instagram account shows the association only raising US$1,275 (J$165,195) of a targeted US$135,000 (roughly J$17.5 million) to date.
"We are a new organisation and we do not have any funds," JamLax vice-president Dwight Clarke said. "What the board has had to do is see how best we can cope with our expenses, providing meals after training, and so on. We have had to resort to trying to raise funds from overseas for the upcoming championships. We established a GoFundMe page, linked to our website, and we also have fundraising events we do for ourselves, as well as reaching out to corporate Jamaica to help us as well, it is left to be seen how that will turn out."
Clarke spoke positively about the growth of the sport locally, saying that the team was a product of JamLax's high school programme, launched in 2013.
"It is the first female team we have going to any championship for Jamaica in Lacrosse." he said. "This is a product of our school programme and it is the first team that is actually local bred, we will probably only introduce two or three players from overseas."
As for the competition, Clarke is confident that the girls could pose a serious challenge to their more seasoned competitors despite their being fairly new to the sport.
"Our players measure up pretty well with the competition, because we have a programme which is unique to us," he said. "The other countries may have more technical skills but as for agility and speed, we have that over them, so we will be looking to use our strengths and outsmart them, that is one of the plans we have."