WOMEN’S LACROSSE IS AN UNDER-APPRECIATED GAME IN THE U.K, THE SPORT BEING NON-ACCESSIBLE TO MANY INDIVIDUALS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN’S LACROSSE. THAT’S ABOUT TO CHANGE. WITH NEW CLUBS BEING OPENED IN DIFFERENT COUNTY, KENT IS ABOUT TO JOIN THAT LIST BY OPENING UP A WOMEN’S LACROSSE CLUB IN CANTERBURY. TO GET THE LOWDOWN ON THIS NEW CLUB AND THE EMBRACE OF WOMEN’S LACROSSE, I, YOUR SPORTS EDITOR, HAS INTERVIEWED ISABELLA EBDON-PRICE, THE FOUNDER OF THIS NEW CLUB.
Q. WHAT MAKES A LACROSSE CLUB DIFFERENT FROM A UNIVERSITY LACROSSE TEAM?
Bella: Although Uni lacrosse can be serious at times, you tend to have very different levels of commitment throughout the club. You get people who are really focused on improving their game and others who are just wanting to enjoy being a part of a social sport and that is what makes uni lacrosse such a unique experience! The main difference with club lacrosse is that it’s open to ages 14+, so you have school pupils, students and older players all playing together. The school pupils and students that choose to do some extra lacrosse are very likely to be the ones most committed to improving their game and excelling! When you combine that with the older members of a club, who will vary in age and background, but are likely to bring that level of experience that you don’t have with uni lacrosse, I think that’s a really rewarding environment to be a part of. When I started playing club lacrosse at school, playing with people who were so much more experienced than me was something I found really inspiring and it definitely made me step it up, so I would really hope that students and school pupils who get involved have that same experience.
Q. WHAT GAVE YOU THE INSPIRATION TO START UP THIS CLUB?
It was something I had been thinking about for a while, myself and Sophie Rajska, the head of lacrosse at the King’s school knew that there was interest from people and so we decided to just make it happen. It seemed crazy that Canterbury didn’t have a team, the club will be a great way to get people from both universities, king’s school and other Members of the community all playing together!
Q. WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO GAIN FROM STARTING THIS CLUB?
I think that’s the main aim really, to create a club where people of completely different ages and backgrounds bond through their love of lacrosse and are given the opportunity to take their game to the next level, whilst also catering for our more experienced players, who I know are very excited to start playing again!
Q. TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOURSELF IN REGARDS TO LACROSSE, WHY IS IT SUCH A BIG PART OF YOUR LIFE?
I started playing at school when I was 11 and lacrosse has been a huge part of my life ever since then. I definitely wasn’t always the model pupil and I can honestly say that if I it weren’t for lacrosse I would have got in a lot more trouble!
Q. SHOULD ACTION BE TAKEN TO UP THE REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN LACROSSE?
Playing any sport can be an important outlet for people, but I think lacrosse in particular is such a great sport for young girls to become a part of. It’s obviously a great way to learn what it means to be part of a team, but there’s also that level of aggression that you don’t get with other sports that are more widely played by girls in school. Playing lax at uni has been just as enjoyable and whilst it was very different to my previous experiences of lacrosse, I have loved seeing people picking up the sport for the first time and I can’t help but say that wherever you go, the girls that you meet playing lax are always friends for life! Following on from what I’ve said previously, no I don’t think lacrosse is played widely enough. It’s very much a private school sport in the UK and I can’t stress enough how important I think it is to change this! My secondary school is one of the only state schools in the country to play lax and when I compare the emphasis on female sport there to my primary school in north west London it’s very disappointing. Ensuring that all schools have the resources to provide pupils with the opportunity to take part in a range of sports is something that seems invaluable to me. Lacrosse in particular is such a great sport, it’s so big in America and the standard of women’s lacrosse over there is so high. The top level lacrosse games that I’ve watched compare in entertainment value to any other sport that I’ve seen and I hope that one day lacrosse will be at the forefront of a female sporting revolution, because they are just as impressive and exciting as a premier league football match.
Follow the Canterbury Lacrosse Club for more information – watch this space.