May 24, 2012
First lacrosse camp hopes to carry on the game
By Lailani Upham
Al Plant, 10Sticks lacrosse player runs ball up field during a game this past season. (Courtesy photo)
PABLO — Ten Sticks Lacrosse began almost two years ago on the Flathead Indian Reservation to give high school kids a shot at learning and competing in Lacrosse – “The Creator’s Game.”
Now with some help from the Creator and a few organizations jumping on board – a first time youth camp, called the “The Creator’s Game Lacrosse Camp” is launching in June at Salish Kootenai College.
“We hope this camp will serve as a catalyst to jump start our lacrosse youth program. Although we have been successful in creating a high school boys team, those boys will graduate next year and the longevity of the lacrosse program depends upon creating young lacrosse players who will grow up to love and to serve and to play the game. You’re not just investing in your kids pastime activity for a couple of days at camp; you’re investing in the long term health and well-being of our local youth, and building them into strong men and women of honor and character,” says Alex Alviar 10Sticks Lacrosse coach and Program Director.
Bringing lacrosse to Flathead has been a challenge for Alviar he says, but the need to showcase the sport was something he could not turn way from he states. Alviar, an all-state lacrosse player himself, says the sport had a huge impact on his life and wants the kids on the Reservation to experience it as well. “Lacrosse is a Native game and it should be here.”
“The Flathead Indian Reservation is a very mixed demographic. There’s often a big mix of social devise, social-economic devise between the kids. We see the Creator’s Game as an important and amazing social platform to bring these kids together. We can focus on our scoreboards, on our wins and all these sorts of things but the real mission behind that – is to bridge these social gaps and share the Creator’s Game and brings kids together. It gives them a better positive experience, keeps them off the streets and sets them up for a better future,” Alviar explained.
The Creator’s Game Lacrosse Camp is in partnership with SKC, S & K Technologies, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Circle of Trust program, and the Lower Flathead Valley Community Foundation.
Kevin Sandy, the Director of Operations for Iroquois Lacrosse Program, will teach and coach.
The vision of the Iroquois Lacrosse Program is to provide leadership camps, instructional clinics and motivational sessions to inspire youth. Much of the staff is currently playing or coaching in the National Lacrosse League.
According to Sandy, The Creator’s Game is a medicine game given to the “Ogwe ho weh” (all nations) to assist with healing individuals and nations. In its purest form the game teaches young men and women about the importance of teamwork, promotes active and healthy living, builds self-confidence and increases self-esteem.
The 2012 10Sticks Lacrosse team raise sticks to promote team spirit. (Courtesy photo)
Alviar hopes to inspire the youth on the Flathead Rez to carry on the game in years to come through the launch of this first time camp.
Other presenter is highly respected, Delmor Jacobs, Cayuga Faith Keeper at the Six Nations Reservation will be a coaching and inspiring for the “Creator’s Game Lacrosse Camp” in June.
Jacobs has 45 plus years of involvement in lacrosse as player, coach and builder. He is also rich in the stories of the Haudenosaune Ongwehone people regarding the Creator’s Game.
The camp is from Friday, June 15 to Saturday, June 16 from 9 am to 4 pm. The cost is $60 and breakfast and lunch will be included, a t-shirt, grab bag of free schwag, and a possible lacrosse stick to take home.
Thursday, June 14 will be a primer low-impact clinic for beginners who have never played on a lacrosse team to introduce and encourage the players.
There will be three age categories for boys, nine – ten; 11 – 12; and 13- 14; and high school. There will be two age categories for girls, 12 – 14 and high school.
Sandy says, his vision is to inspire, motivate and to get people active and to stop at nothing to achieve their dreams. “Each morning, I give thanks to our Creator for his gifts, knowledge and offer thanks to those who have assisted in my journey,” he says.
He says his mother taught him, “to never be afraid to speak your mind, if you have something to say then let it out, as you may never get another opportunity.” Sandy says his dad taught he and his two brothers and sister the lesson of hard work and doing what you have to do, in order to provide for your family, he says.
With this philosophy Sandy shares this with others to continually stay active and never stop dreaming and promote life long learning.
Sandy who will be a main coach during the camp doesn’t do what he does as “work” – it is something that keeps him going.
“I thoroughly enjoy working with youth and children, as they motivate, challenge and inspire me.”
For registration packet to the 2012 “Creator’s Game Lacrosse Camp” send address and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org with “camp registration” in the subject heading.