US Lacrosse announced today that the organization has awarded 24 new grants to support lacrosse participation in underrepresented communities. These awards, made through the National Diversity Grant Program (NDGP), will be utilized by local organizations to initiate and continue programs that promote lacrosse outreach and diversity.
The NDGP is providing $52,500 in grants during this cycle to community partners throughout the nation, with a projected direct impact to over 3,500 participants.
US Lacrosse believes that broad representation and participation add significant value to the lacrosse experience, and seeks to provide sustained leadership and resources for the growth of the game in all communities.
“As the national governing body for lacrosse, we’re committed to helping people that are traditionally outside the lacrosse community to overcome barriers to participation,” said Eboni Preston-Laurent, senior manager for diversity and inclusion at US Lacrosse. “We hope that our support of other committed organizations across the country can make a greater impact for diversity in our sport.”
The majority of the grants range from $1,000 to $2,000, and are awarded in six separate categories: community impact, disability access, girls’ initiatives, urban outreach, event support and BRIDGE programs. The 24 organizations receiving grants in this cycle, the first of two in 2018, represent 17 states across all regions of the country.
Community Impact Grants
• ReLax Collections – New Jersey
• Native American Community Academy – New Mexico
• Greeneville Lacrosse Club – Tennessee
• Chief Leschi Schools – Washington
• Youth LIFE Support Network – New York
Disability Access Grants
• LIMLF – Safeway Wheelchair Lacrosse – New York
• Sportable – Virginia
• Adaptive Lacrosse PA – Pennsylvania
Girls Initiative Grants
• Oceti Sakowin Sports Council – South Dakota
• Lamar Women’s Lacrosse – Texas
• New Horizons Lacrosse – Texas
Urban Outreach Grants
• NorthStar Foundation – Nebraska
• South Bay Outlaws – California
• Field of Dreams Academy – Georgia
• Building 21 – Pennsylvania
• Harrison Warrior Lacrosse – Indiana
• Prince George’s Pride Lacrosse – Maryland
• MetroLacrosse – Massachusetts
• Bridge Lacrosse – Texas
Event Support Grants
• Mother UAME Lacrosse – Delaware
• Meriden United Lacrosse/B&G Club – Connecticut
• Eyekonz Sports League – Pennsylvania
• Carolina Flight – North Carolina
• Lloyd C. Bird High School – Virginia
Peter Locke, president of the South Bay Outlaws program, expressed his appreciation for the new grant.
“We have been building lacrosse in the South Bay part of San Diego for some time, and this grant will allow us to run more introduction clinics,” he said. “There are many parts of San Diego where parents may have heard about lacrosse but do not know anything about lacrosse. Our free clinics can educate those parents on the game and show the kids how much fun the sport is to play. This amazing grant will have a positive impact on our community and our players.”
The Aurora (Colo.) Public School District was the recipient of a NDGP award in 2017 and provided a recent testimonial as to how the grant has impacted its program. The boys’ high school team is comprised of players from six different high schools.
“We have been able to purchase used, but in good condition, arm pads, sticks, gloves and shoulder pads for players not able to afford those items in order to play lacrosse,” said Michael Leleck, program administrator and assistant coach.
“We have been able to expose eight new student athletes to the game of lacrosse in the Aurora Public School system. In addition, we were able to send three players to a face off clinic to better their skills. Without the funds and support we received from US Lacrosse, none of this would have been possible.”
US Lacrosse accepts online applications for its diversity grants, and makes its awards during two cycles during the calendar year. The next application cycle begins on August 1 and closes on September 1, 2018.