I may have mentioned it before but I’ll say it again, “I’m a lucky guy.” I get to share the greatest game in the world — lacrosse — with great groups of young people. And when I am really, really lucky, like this weekend, I get to see them share it with others.
This Saturday my high school team (Morristown-Beard in NJ) will be hosting the Sojourner Truth Middle School team from NYC. The STMS team is part of the Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership program. HLL is a school-based nonprofit organization that provides academic intervention, leadership training, and lacrosse to at-risk youth. It began in 2011 in Harlem NYC and is expanding to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston.
This is the third year we have hosted a team from HLL, and my players are really looking forward to it. It’s a great opportunity for my HS guys to give back a little and share the game they love — lacrosse. We bring the STMS team to our campus for the day and conduct lacrosse clinic work and scrimmages with them. We also run a clothing and equipment drive prior to weekend.
Our team parents thankfully do all the logistical work, arranging transportation and meals. The boys plan, organize, and conduct all the drills and competitions. I’m not really sure what the other coaches and I do — except smile a lot. I’m certain our high school guys get more out of it than the middle schoolers.
Swax Lax Steps Up
I am obviously proud of my players, but I am also very proud of Swax Lax for stepping up by supporting lacrosse programs that are trying to grow the game of lacrosse in underserved communities. This past year Swax Lax has made contributions to many different programs just like HLL, that US Lacrosse recognizes in their Urban Lacrosse Alliance program (see list below).
As the old Irish saying goes “it warms the cockles of my heart” to work for a company like Swax Lax (I always thought cockles were some type of shell fish, what do they have to with your heart?).
Way to step up Swax Lax. If you are interested in donating to or getting involved with one of these programs please contact the Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership program or US Lacrosse’s Urban Lacrosse Alliance program.
Swax Lax donated soft lacrosse training balls to the following organizations:
- 8 Mile Lacrosse, Detroit, MI
- 13th Girl Foundation, Baltimore, MD
- Black Women and Sport, Philadelphia, PA
- Brackenridge High School, San Antonio, TX
- Brooklyn Lacrosse Club, Brooklyn, NY
- Charm City Lacrosse, Owings Mills, MD
- City Lax, New York, New York
- Denver City Lax, Denver, CO
- Lacrosse the Nations, Washington, DC
- Ohio City Lacrosse, Pepper Pike, OH
- ReLax Collections, Annandale, NJ
- Roc 6 Lacrosse, Rochester, NY
It also “warms the cockles of my heart” when I (and Swax Lax) receive notes and photos like these!
Brooklyn Lacrosse Club: "We received an unbelievable donation from SwaxLax . . . enough balls for each kid in our program! This product is amazing for urban kids that don't have tons of space.
And from Robin: "My daughter and son are learning lacrosse in the Brooklyn Lacrosse league and you recently donated a large number of the Swax Lax beginner balls. I just wanted to say thank you for this donation. I think these will really help them as they learn to catch and throw. Your generosity hasn't gone unnoticed!"
City Lax: "Can't wait to put these to use!"
CityLaxNYC (Instagram): "Spring ’16 is only four days young and we’re already thinking about our 2016-17 winter clinics. Thanks for the donation, @SwaxLaxBall! Can’t wait to put these to use."
About the Author
For the past 27 years, Kevin Meany has coached lacrosse at the youth, high school, and college levels. In 2001 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the New Jersey Chapter of US Lacrosse and in 2014 he was named High School Assistant Coach of the Year by the New Jersey Chapter of US Lacrosse. He recorded more than 100 victories as head coach at Millburn High School in New Jersey and was Head Coach at both Alvernia University in Reading, PA and Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. Meany played lacrosse at Providence College and the Delbarton School in the early 80s.