Grade 10 Royal Bay student Dante Evans (right) drops off bottles during the lacrosse academy’s bottle drive on West Shore Parkway on Sunday. Money raised from the event goes towards sending players to tournaments. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Royal Bay lacrosse academies growing

Boys and girls programs see influx of enrolment

Royal Bay Secondary school’s boys’ and girls’ lacrosse academies have seen a boom in enrolment and show no signs of slowing down.

In the past two years since the boys’ academy began, it has grown from 17 junior and senior athletes to 85. While the majority of students are from the West Shore, a few come down from the Cowichan Valley as well.

Academy director and head coach Lucas MacNeil said the West Shore is a hot bed for lacrosse, much of which can be attributed to the success of the Victoria Shamrocks. “It’s just booming out here. It’s the fastest or second fastest growing lacrosse community in the province and when you look at Royal Bay and the facilities that we have, why wouldn’t you want to come here?” said MacNeil, adding students between grades 9 and 12 earn credits for the class, during which they learn on-field skill development, off-field strength and conditional, sports psychology and nutrition. “We just try and get these kids to play as many games as they can.”

RELATED: Royal Bay lacrosse coach pleased with results

The junior and senior squads have seen success in recent months, competing in tournaments in Seattle. In December, the seniors went 3-1 and the juniors lost in the semi-finals of a Seattle tourney. Locally, the junior and senior teams competed in the Spartan Shootout at Claremont Secondary, when the juniors went undefeated and the seniors went 2-2.

“The progress is there and the kids are starting to see what the outcome is of their effort and energy during the class,” said MacNeil, adding the academy gives players the opportunity to travel as well. “Traveling is a big part of learning. When you travel, you learn how to behave, you learn how to conduct yourself with you’re representing a school and a school district.”

Luc Gagnon, a Grade 9 student at Royal Bay, said he’s learned a lot during his last five months with the academy. “I love lacrosse and it’s a great academy. There’s great people to play with, a great coach,” said Gagnon, who also plays field lacrosse with the Victoria Titans and the West Shore Whalers. “You learn passing and catching and a lot of team play, what matters to the whole team and the importance of commitment to a team.”

For those interested in getting to know more about the program, Royal Bay is hosting an info night on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. Registration for the academy begins on Feb. 1 at 6 a.m.

RELATED: Girls field lacrosse academy likely coming to Royal Bay

Royal Bay’s girls’ lacrosse academy – one of the first of its kind in Canada – is also seeing success in its first year. Fifteen girls have registered for the academy and are “excited and eager” to learn and grow the game at the school and within the community, said academy teacher, co-ordinator and coach, David Sundher.

“We’re excited to develop our skills not only as individuals but also as a team, and maybe even some day send some athletes to post-secondary institutions in Canada and the U.S. to not only continue their education but also play women’s lacrosse,” he said, noting girls of all skill levels are welcome and will learn under a former Team Canada player.

Anyone interested in joining the girls’ academy can contact Sundher via email at dsundher@sd62.bc.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Colwood tree bylaw causing problems

Arborist says bylaw unreasonable, puts homeowners at risk

Pellets shot at window of B.C. Transit bus

Bus was travelling near Craigflower and Admirals roads Wednesday morning when window was hit

Find out what the future holds for the West Shore

Chamber of commerce hosts annual Vision West Shore in February

Smell of pot plants sparks social media debate

A noticeable smell on Sooke Road has caught the attention of residents

Horgan indicates Highway 14 improvements coming soon

Premier says looming announcement part of much more coming for south coast connector

Victoria’s Our Place in desperate need of clothing donations

Downtown service provider feeling pinch from less frequent community clothing drives

Island-filmed TV series gets third season

Crews returning to Parksville Qualicum Beach to film Chesapeake Shores in the spring

Bank of Canada hikes interest rate to 1.25%, cites strong economic data

The rate increase is expected to prompt Canada’s large banks to raise their prime lending rates

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Hijab-cutting case highlights ethical issues with putting kids in spotlight

A Toronto police investigation has concluded a girl’s hijab was not cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Change in politics, society on sexual misconduct ‘not fast enough,’ says Trudeau

Trudeau says society still lagging behind the systemic changes he is trying to make when it comes to preventing and responding to sexual harassment

Most Read