Team China's Road to the 2017 Lacrosse World Cup

Team China's Road to the 2017 Lacrosse World Cup

From Morgan Banaszek

Our goal is raise funds to bring the first Chinese National Women’s Lacrosse team to the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup held in England. Help us get the team to England this July!

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Team China is young and new to lacrosse but made up of a passionate group of players. These women have grown immensely from first picking up a lacrosse stick only a few years ago, to competing this upcoming summer in the 2017 World Cup as the first ever Chinese Women’s team! There are players in a few major Chinese cities, with those in Beijing and Shanghai regularly playing with and against players from around the world. The journey will not be easy for our players, involving endless practice, conditioning, teamwork and patience. As coaches, we have come a long way from where we started and we are extremely proud of this special group of girls. This team has the potential and drive to become a strong competitor at the 2017 World Cup and we intend to work with them and push them to this goal.

The first practices we coached in China were tough. The sporting culture was completely different: there was no structure to practice, no athletic apparel worn, and the players took long breaks to chat with friends. We were shocked, as we were only experienced with our North American sporting culture, where you show up to practice early (ready to play), only take one-minute water breaks, jog between exercises, do sprints and agilities during practices. What we realized was that the players could perform and had athletic ability, they just had never experienced regular coaching. They did not grow up playing sports the way we did, and especially not contact sports. When we both decided to coach the Chinese Women’s National Lacrosse team, we could have never imagined that the team and players we see now came from a group of shy, quiet, but willing to learn university and recent graduate students.

After holding tryouts for the team and explaining that there will need to be cuts up until July, we have seen an inner drive from the players that we did not think existed. Despite the differences between cultures, the love of the game is the same. That 10 minutes of wall ball a day, an early morning workout before class, extra field passing with their friends, watching international game videos, asking questions about how to increase efficiency in their play, has improved the confidence of our players and proved to us what a capable and committed group of players we have.

For many players, representing China on a national team at an international sporting event is a dream they never thought possible. One of our players, Hualing Yu, puts her heart and soul into the game: “Lacrosse for me is more than a sport just for fun, it carries my dream, a dream I’ve been dreaming since the first time the tears ran down my face when I watched Chinese athletes compete in the Olympics. I want to fight for my country, like a warrior and as a team. Lacrosse has changed my life and I believe it will surprise me more in the future. I am extremely excited for 2017, where my dream will come true!”

We have the opportunity, as coaches, for a special experience, to take a group of relatively inexperienced players and turn them into international lacrosse players. We get to mold, develop and grow with our team. Now we are calling on you to help 18 of the best Chinese players to their first Women’s Lacrosse World Cup!

Any donation will be very gratefully received and go towards covering the team’s cost to play, including flights, accommodation, meals, uniforms, etc. We appreciate any support you can give.

Lacrosse friends, family, colleagues, help us grow the game in China!

Coaches Morgan Banaszek and Jesse Porter

加油中国队!

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