After the success of this year’s LtN Cup, our players were given an opportunity to continue their work on the field before the close of 2016. Earlier this year, a small school in San Juan del Sur had reached out to LtN regarding the possibility of hosting a clinic for their students. On December 2nd LtN Cup finalists Team Carazo and Team Chinandega traveled to the beach with our coaching staff to help us grow the game.
The day started with a two and a half hour bus ride out to the coast. We arrived in San Juan in the morning, first touring the facilities of San Juan Day School and meeting the kids that would be attending the clinic in the afternoon. From there, we continued on to the beach for a day of relaxation and celebration for the Cup finalists. Being able to treat our city kids to a day at the beach was a great experience. I was overjoyed to see the players from both Chiqui and the Club enjoy such a beautiful day together - from chicken fights in the waves to digging holes in the sand. Of course, we had to end our trip with a little beach lax before grabbing a traditional Nicaraguan lunch at San Juan Cerveceria in town.
After lunch, we arrived back at San Juan Day School to start up our clinic. This was the first time any of these students had ever picked up a lacrosse stick. Our LtN players were definitely timid at first, not used to being in coaching position. After getting warmed up however, they were helping out the San Juan beginners left and right and really stepping up into leadership roles. It was amazing to see Kevin, one of our most experienced players, breaking down passing and throwing basics; or Gina, our newest player, jump right into the exhibition game afterward to show the new kids what a fast game of lacrosse could look like. After the clinic, we got to share some of our LtN curriculum with the group of young new players - discussing what they enjoyed about the sport and the day’s activities over ice cream.
It was incredible to see our LtN student athletes have the opportunity to spread what they have learned and worked on over the past few years in our Managua programs. With their help, we were able to bring lacrosse to an entirely new community. We hope this relationship between LtN and San Juan Day School will continue. The rapid growth of our Managua programs is unbelievably exciting, and can allow us to have more clinics such as this one. Our LtN coaches, scholars, and players are building up a community that can grow the game to a level never before seen in Nicaragua.