Female lacrosse players in Penticton gathered for their first practice of the season recently. (Submitted)

Penticton wants to break new ground for female lacrosse in the Okanagan

Association is hosting a free clinic with Savannah Smith, a former NCAA player

The Penticton Minor Lacrosse Association is “breaking the ground” for the Thompson-Okanagan region with a push to get more female lacrosse players into the game.

“There are no female only teams in our region. Penticton lacrosse wanted to take on the lead for the whole region to get more girls playing lacrosse and build a template for more associations to follow,” said Penni King, Penticton Minor Lacrosse Association vice-president and TOMBLC girls director. “The female side of lacrosse is struggling and there are lots of universities in Canada and the U.S. that are looking for players. There are scholarship opportunities. This is an untapped sport and players are in such high demand at the post-secondary level so there is a lot of possibility for girls to move on and have a great opportunity in front of them.”

It is why they are inviting females interested in playing, or have already been involved in the sport, to join them for a free clinic with Savannah Smith—a former NCAA division one field lacrosse player and the coach of the U19 Team BC female box lacrosse squad for the 2020 North American Indigenous Games. Smith played for North Delta as a youth, on boys teams, until she graduated to an intermediate program. She started playing for the South Fraser Warriors and the league that exists today is one that she helped start when she was just 16 years old.

READ ALSO: B.C. lacrosse legends celebrate Canadian titles, life after crash

“We are really excited to have her for this clinic as she is quite an accomplished female athlete. She not only will run a clinic but will share her passion for the sport. This is more than just a drop-in session for athletes that have never tried the sport before, it will also be educational for girls that have lacrosse experience and want to know how to get to the next step,” said King.

While female player registration numbers are lower than last year for Penticton Minor Lacrosse, King said she excited to have the group of athletes that have signed up so far. She said they are seeing a lot of the youth have a background in hockey, soccer and other sports. King said because lacrosse is very much about hand-eye co-ordination and developing cardio, it can translate well for training in other sports.

The current group in Penticton aims to play exhibition games against other female teams in Cranbrook and the Lower Mainland. King credits the help of Mike and Sue Kinna who moved to the area recently and have coached their daughter (Megan Kinna) in minor lacrosse, she now plays for the Northwestern University Wildcats.

“They have brought great knowledge and are amazing coaches. They really have helped us and now we can say we have all this experience behind us to help build a strong program. We really want to continue to build momentum and get that going in other associations with our template,” said King.

Once other associations have built up female registration numbers, King would like to see a north and south team. She said from there they have a vision of each association having their own female team to build their own league.

The girls lacrosse clinic takes place on April 26 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. (no experience necessary). Smith will be sharing her tips to becoming a better player and how her love of the game led her to play for La Salle University. To register contact penni@vp.pmla@gmail.com.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan teenagers found after missing for four days

The pair, believed to be dating, had been missing since Nov. 15.

Police watchdog investigating death of man following attempted arrest

Man is said to have died of head injuries on Nov. 14

Soup Bowls Project raises over $20,000 for Penticton Art Gallery

Attendees had over 200 bowls and plenty of delicious soups

Summerland Festival of Lights will have entertainment three stages

Organizers anticipate 12,000 to 14,000 people to attend event to launch festive season

Four Penticton residents celebrating their 100th birthday

They shared some of their stories and advice on living well

Investigation ongoing after shots fired in North Okanagan

RCMP have no updates from Nov. 1 incident

Kamloops woman sues Armstrong IPE for Slingshot mishap

Woman claims ride gone wrong caused injury, loss of wages and other damages

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Alleged drunk driver survives crash into Kettle River

The crash happened Saturday near Grand Forks

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

Most Read