Lacrosse camp draws interest

Above is a group photograph of some of the youth at the lacrosse clinic in Driftpile. With the instructors and students are band councillors and leaders/instructors with the Alberta Indigenous Games.

Richard Froese
South Peace News
Lacrosse has caught on with youth in Driftpile in an effort to participate in the Alberta Indigenous Games in the summer, Aug. 13-17 in Edmonton.

More than 40 youth from ages 5-17 years attended the camp Feb. 4 at Driftpile School with instructors from the Games.

“We had about 45 girls and boys turn out for the clinic,” says Martha Campiou, of Driftpile, Alberta Indigenous Games president and chair.
“The community will continue to develop a team to prepare for the Games.”

The Games has three age divisions of co-ed lacrosse teams.

“We decided to go with lacrosse because it is Canada’s national sport and it was given to the people to be the founders of the Alberta Indigenous Games,” says Campiou.

She also shared the history and acknowledged the Six Nations in Ontario.

“They were the ones given this gift to share with North America and Canada as an international sport in the 1800s,” Campiou says.

Community leaders are delighted with the participation and enthusiasm of the youth.

“It’s a great opportunity for our youth to be introduced to the game,” says Chief Dwayne Laboucan, who was elected the new chief Dec. 19 for a two-year term.
“That’s one of our priorities, to get youth back into sports, and we’re happy to see so many youth come out to the clinic.”

Games and clinic leaders were also inspired by the response.

“It’s a natural cross-over from hockey,” says Jacob Hendy, CEO and Games manager.
“Lacrosse season starts after hockey and players can stay in shape.”

He hopes the local players can play some exhibition games to prepare for the Games. Valleyview has started its own youth league.

The Alberta Indigenous Games are held every second year for youth ages 10-18 years. The 2017 version will be the fourth time the Games are held.

Other sports include archery, track and field, ball hockey, basketball, canoeing, golf, soccer, fastpitch softball, and volleyball.

Indigenous youth from across the province are invited to engage in a week of competitive and traditional games, special events, education and cultural connection.

Players face off to start a game of lacrosse at Driftpile School.
Youth play lacrosse under the watchful instruction from Alberta Indigenous Games instructors.

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