CONTRIBUTED BY LOUISE MCKERNAN
Our children love lacrosse. I grew up with lacrosse, and while lacrosse is new to my husband, he embraces lax as a new sport to play with our kids. I thought being stationed in Okinawa was the end of organized youth lacrosse for a few years. In PCS prep mode, I purchased lacrosse sticks and balls, along with mini lacrosse sticks & tennis balls for my little guy – all to practice & play lacrosse with them. We’d return to Maryland one day, and I wanted our kids to be ready to play!
Then we heard of Island Youth Lacrosse on Okinawa (IYLO).
A handful of Marine Corps families are pulling together to bring youth lacrosse to Okinawa. They’re lead by a USMC LtCol who played college lacrosse at Rutgers University, along with his wife and two spirited Marine Corps spouses are trying to bring lacrosse here for their sons & daughter.
Island Youth Lacrosse’s LAX 101 Clinic was fantastic! Our kids were thrilled to play, and so were the twenty other future laxers and their families who were there. Okinawa’s Island Youth Lacrosse LAX 101 Clinics have been so popular this spring that IYLO had to employ waitlists. IYLO is holding these clinics to introduce, to grow and build up island lacrosse players; it is also a fundraiser for the upcoming seasons. LAX 101 Clinic series introduce future laxers to lacrosse fundamentals, builds upon them, and culminates with play on the lacrosse field. And there are clinics coming up soon!
Summer Season lacrosse registration starts in the spring. Their summer season will consist of U11 and U15 teams; playing in June through July with both boys and girls on the same teams, playing by US Lacrosse boys rules. These teams will have practices and games at Camp Foster, and Kadena or Camp McTureous (tbd). IYLO is looking for beginners to advanced lacrosse players to come out and play (ages 6-14). IYLO has experienced lacrosse coaches volunteering, and encourages teenagers to volunteer and share their lacrosse skills with the little lax players and beginners.
This youth lacrosse organization has high aspirations. In addition to offering competitive playing opportunities for young athletes in the upcoming Summer Season, and the Inaugural Spring Season (to include breaking it into girls & boys teams). IYLO has plans for more future clinics, and finding dynamic ways to introduce lacrosse to our school children. Indoor box lacrosse is potentially an option for 5-6 year olds in the near future, too. The end goal is to ramp up to a full league will four teams per age bracket:
Boys: U9, U11, U13, U15, and a Kadena HS & Kubasaki HS club team
Girls: U9, U11, U13, U15, and a Kadena HS & Kubasaki HS club team
Island Youth Lacrosse Okinawa is looking for energized youth looking to join the fastest growing sport in the USA!
*Register now* for both the LAX 101 Clinics and the upcoming Season for lacrosse!
Facebook: “Island Youth Lacrosse”
Website: in progress
LAX 101 Clinics (Check FB for dates): Only $20 per clinic. Sticks provided. These clinics will be seasonally run in the Fall & Spring.
Summer Lacrosse Season: Mid-June to late-July. Open registration begins in April for the summer season. Email us at email@example.com
Regular Season: January – March
Games and practices will be held at Camp Foster & Kadena / Camps Courtney & McTureous.
Whether your child is interested in lacrosse, or you feel you could contribute to this growing program, please contact IYLO!
GOT LACROSSE? HAI!