Denver City Lax 2011 update Building Relationships to Initiate Diversity, Growth and Enrichment
Denver City Lax celebrated its fourth birthday in 2010, which puts us in human years at a pre-kindergarten age. We are young, full of ideas and in the initial stages of becoming a responsible and self-sufficient organization. And while the list of accomplishments grows longer each year, we really are just beginning to build the program we hope becomes a lifetime experience for players, families and the Denver community. Our goal remains to use the game of lacrosse to involve elementary and middle school students in activities that enhance educational aspirations.
City Lax is an idea people can get behind. We started with a single team and today City Lax has served students 3rd through 8th grade that attend more than 20 schools. Each spring City Lax uses team play in the Colorado Youth Lacrosse Association to introduce kids to lacrosse. That's been our starting point. Athletics and lacrosse in particular can effect positive youth development. We also believe exposure to educational and enrichment activities will help foster each participant’s success in school and later life.
The ideas and energy that have fueled City Lax find their roots in people and programs that predate our first season in 2007. We stand on the shoulders of many people. At home in Colorado, Chuck Froelicher, the two Hank Toll cousins, Chard Smith, Bill Cooper, Mark Foster, Jamie Duke, Greg Sarkisian, Jim Soran and Flip Naumberg are a few names credited with introducing lacrosse and growing the game in our state. Each knew that athletics are important, and wanted to give kids of all ability from all backgrounds the opportunity to play this Native American sport.
At the national level a number of urban lacrosse programs serving non-traditional neighborhoods have spread from coast to coast over the past two decades. Programs such as BLax Lax, Inc. in Baltimore, Metro Lacrosse in Boston, City Lax, Inc. in New York, Trenton Lacrosse in New Jersey, Lacrosse for Life in San Francisco, Winners Lacrosse in Washington D.C., Lax in LA and BRIDGE Dallas have flourished and helped develop various models for inner city youth programs. These people and programs are but a few examples of the forerunners that allowed Denver City Lax to hit the ground running. It was their efforts - and those of many others - that built the foundation and lacrosse network for City Lax to find both the support and encouragement to make our first four seasons a success.
As we enter the 2011 season there exists the feeling we are just getting started. We are, after all, still pre-kindergarten. We are happy about our progress, but are more excited by everything we still have to do. Each year we meet more kids and families that provide both the excitement and insight to help visualize City Lax’s full potential. What stands out are the players and families that have fallen in love with lacrosse, and the role the game has played in helping a number of kids find success in school. Our future success is intertwined with these individual stories.
Thanks to everyone for joining the journey and lending their help to bring City Lax this far.