15 Oct 2011

D’Accardi Lacrosse Clinic in Uganda Huge Success

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(KAMPALA, UGANDA) This report will review the progress of lacrosse in Uganda. It will also detail the positive impact of the FIL D’Accardi Clinics on both International and Ugandan Lacrosse.

Clinic Staff

The generous funding provided through the D’Accardi International Clinic grant enabled us to bring together an all-star staff for our trip to Uganda. This brought incredible teachers and coaches to Uganda, but also enabled us to capitalize on the media attention garnered by having some of the lacrosse world’s most recognizable names involved in the clinics. NONE OF THESE CLINICIANS WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ATTEND THE CLINICS WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF THE D’ACCARDI GRANT!

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Jonathan Christmas

Jon served as the head men’s clinician. He is a knowledgeable and charismatic teacher of the game. Jon is also one of the more prominent African Americans to have played the game, which added to the compelling nature of this visit. John is a professional lacrosse player, former all-American and founder of 141 Lacrosse.

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Hannah Nielson

Hannah is currently considered the top woman’s lacrosse player in the world. She is a member of the Australian National Team, All-World Selection, 2X Tewaaraton Trophy Winner,  Assistant Lacrosse Coach, Towson University.

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Ann Elliott

Ann is currently the top assistant women’s lacrosse coach at Northwestern University. Ann was part of 4 women’s lacrosse titles as a player at Northwestern and 2 titles as a coach. She is a passionate teacher of the game and provided great leadership throughout the clinics.

Additional Clinicians

In addition to the staff that was supported by the D’Accardi Clinic Grant, we also had several college and high school volunteers that participated in the clinics. My humble belief is that this was one of the most successful international clinics ever held. The ability, through the D’Accardi grant to bring 3 great leaders like Jonathan, Hannah and Ann to Uganda, enabled us to direct and positively impact young American players, as well as the Ugandan participants.

Additional Clinicians included:

  • Chad Weidmaier, Princeton (Delbarton School)
  • Kiefer Weidmaier, Providence (Morristown Beard)
  • Mike Bender, U of Virginia
  • Daniele Barcak, Yale University
  • Tyler Steinhardt, Boys’ Latin School
  • Harrison Burke, St. Johns (St. Joe’s Metuchen.)
  • William Fletched, Newtown HS, CT
  • Riley Wurtz, Newtown HS, CT
  • Paddy Sheehan, Lawrencevile School, NJ
  • Adam Little, Vanderbilt Club Coach
  • Sarah Leder, Mt. St. Mary’s
  • Courtney Schneck, West Islip, Pepperdine

Through the D’Accardi clinic grant we were able to put together an excellent clinic with a great player to coach ratio.

Pre-Trip Excitement! (Excerpt from Inside Lacrosse)

When people speak of the growth and expansion of lacrosse it is usually in reference to burgeoning hotbeds in Denver and California or a team from the Midwest mixing it up with the Old Guard on the East Coast. In this case, an impressive effort by the charity Fields of Growth, the Federation of International Lacrosse (Funded by the D’Accardi Intl Clinic Grant) and the Uganda Lacrosse Union has culminated in a historic event for the continent of Africa. On Aug. 13, Uganda will be the first African nation to host a national championship in the sport of lacrosse.

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“With over 150 participants and 20 clinicians, the FIL D’Accardi Clinics will be the single largest Country Developmental Clinic ever hosted by the FIL. Instructors at the D’Acardi clinics will include such prominent lacrosse icons as John Christmas of Virginia national championship and MLL/LXM fame, two-time Player of the Year Hannah Nielsen (Northwestern), Northwestern assistant coach Annie Elliott and many others.”
—Kevin Dugan, FIL Clinician

Over the past few years, Fields of Growth has spread lacrosse through the country of Uganda as part of their broader initiative to bring economic and social development to the African nation. Through this time many American college lacrosse players have participated in service trips to Uganda where they have both instructed youth in the sport of lacrosse and also spearheaded societal projects, such as a health clinic and chicken rearing program, for the welfare of local inhabitants.

In preparation for the national championship tournament, many of the best lacrosse players in America are conducting camps and training sessions. Chad Wiedmaier (Princeton) and Danielle Barcak (Yale) are currently in Uganda imparting their lacrosse knowledge and experience on the Ugandan players. Starting August 6th, they will be joined by even more instructors as FIL begins their week long developmental clinics. With over 150 participants and 20 clinicians, the FIL D’Accardi Clinics will be the single largest Country Developmental Clinic ever hosted by the FIL. Instructors at the D’Acardi clinics will include such prominent lacrosse icons as John Christmas of Virginia national championship and MLL/LXM fame, two-time Player of the Year Hannah Nielsen (Northwestern), Northwestern assistant coach Annie Elliott and many others.

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“The FIL is grateful to the Uganda Lacrosse Union, the D’Accardi family and Fields of Growth for helping this dream become a reality.”
—Tom Hayes, FIL Director of Development

The result of this hard work from both players and instructors will be a landmark event for Uganda and the lacrosse world as a whole. The national championship game will be held in the early evening of August 13th and followed directly by a Ugandan festival that is sure to be an unforgettable event for all involved. “Quite honestly, it is a monumental moment in the history of the game; to see such a huge clinic, followed by an organized National Championship in a Sub-Saharan African country is something I never thought I’d live to see,” said Tom Hayes, Chair of International Development for the FIL. “The FIL is grateful to the Uganda Lacrosse Union, the D’Accardi family and Fields of Growth for helping this dream become a reality.”

Click here to view Kevin Dugan’s full report: Uganda Clinic Report.

The full report includes:
     1. A Message of Gratitude from Maurice Sserunkuma, ULU General Secretary;
     2. Clinic Overview and Highlights from FIL D’Accardi Clinicians; and
     3. Summary of Local and International Press Coverage of the Clinic.

Photos from the Clinic

Fields of Growth Uganda 2009 Video

Click here to view all of the Fields of Growth videos on YouTube: Fields of Growth on YouTube

For more information contact:

Kevin Dugan, Fields of Growth International: kevin.dugan@fieldsofgrowth.org
Tom Hayes, FIL Director of Development: tom.hayes@filacrosse.com

Related Links

Uganda Lacrosse Union website: http://ugandalacrosse.com/
Fields of Growth website: http://fieldsofgrowthintl.org/

About the FIL

The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) is the international governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse. The FIL currently sanctions five World Championships (women’s and men’s field, women’s and men’s U19 field and men’s indoor). The FIL is responsible for the governance and integrity of all forms of lacrosse and provides responsive and effective leadership to support the sports’ development throughout the world.

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