Local lacrosse team heads to Jamaica to promote sport
Team Jamaica has long been making waves across the international sporting arena. But the island’s efforts in lacrosse however, haven’t yet made global headlines. Top-notch all-female program in Weston, Storm Travel Lacrosse, hopes to change this, partnering with the Jamaica Lacrosse Association (JLA) in Kingston to host a joint training clinic and friendly match. A 14-member contingent of players, with a number of Caribbean-Americans, will be in Jamaica from June 17 to 21.
The joint event brings together top female high school talents from across South Florida with budding teams from Jamaica’s female high schools, including St. Hugh’s High School for Girls, Convent of Mercy “Alpha” Academy and Holy Trinity High School. The goal, says Jamaican-born coach for Storm Travel Lacrosse, Cary Ragbeer, is to expose players on both sides to international talents, as well as provide support by donating equipment to the budding JLA program, which launched just two years ago.
“I know that Jamaica is full of a ton of athletes,” says Storm Travel Lacrosse team member and Jamaican-American Katrina Ragbeer. “I’m looking forward to showing them another sport they may be aware of, and for them to teach me things about being an athlete that I didn’t even know.”
“We’re trying to give back to Jamaica and help grow the program there,” says Cary. “It’s also a chance for our players to learn beyond just playing the sport itself.”
The trip also hopes to highlight lacrosse as a viable team sports for female athletes in Jamaica. “Jamaican girls have netball and that’s about it,” notes Cary. “Lacrosse is very inexpensive, and is the fasting growing sport in America.”
With continued collaboration with the JLA, Cary hopes to “expose as many young girls to lacrosse,” and build a team that “in the next three to five years can go and compete in the Women’s World Cup Lacrosse.”
“Jamaica can do it,” says Cary. “Lacrosse requires speed and fitness, of which we have in abundance.”
The trip also continues Storm Travel Lacrosse main campaign to change public expectations around the sport in South Florida. Rooted in the sporting traditions of Native Americans in Northeastern U.S. and Southeastern Canada, particularly the Iroquois tribe, the sport still carries associations as a “east coast” sports, with less diversity than other collegiate sporting arenas. Cary, however, hopes “to encourage more young women of color to explore the game,” says Cary. The team is open to female players from ages 8 to 18 at all levels of experience, including beginners.