It's been six months
since we traveled to Ranau, Malaysia to create our youth lacrosse program at the SMK Mat Salleh School. Since then it's been an amazing journey of successes and failures along the way, however, it makes me proud to say that things have taken off and the students are back to school learning and making lacrosse part of their daily routine. The students of SMK Mat Salleh spearheaded by two leaders of our program, Dena and Kennedy, both senior level students at the school have been involved with teaching new players and continuing to grow the game along with their fellow student athletes.
Erin Whitman is the new Fulbright English Teaching Assistant who has taken Kelly Case's spot at the school and is doing a terrific job helping the students scheduling time and involving lacrosse into their days with practice being held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursday afternoons. Her support is unparalleled and the program has taken on an sustainable nature that I could of only dreamed it would.
See below some photos of the students and her playing lacrosse, including star drills, shooting drills, and teamwork development sessions!
As the students are practicing and developing, here in Denver we are planning our return trip to Ranau this April. The time is coming and I couldn't be more excited to return and grow the game with 3-4 days of more instruction and coaching at SMK Mat Salleh as well as 2-3 days at SMK Ranau where we will teach 100+ students lacrosse and create another team that will compete with the SMK Mat Salleh school. With these two school programs we hope that this will provide motivational competition and spread awareness of our impact and how lacrosse serves as medium to provide an outlet for the students to become physically and mentally healthy. The comradery between the students while playing lacrosse is unmatched and it is helping to grow them as individuals and as a group working together to achieve goals.
The outreach so far has been terrific from our partners such as LacrosseUnlimited and Jimalax as well as Nationwide Lacrosse and school lacrosse programs here such as Thunder Ridge High School (Denver), Lambert High School (Georgia), Long Valley Middle School (New Jersey), and West Coast (California). During our programming in April, Jake Marr and crew from the MLA (Malaysia Lacrosse Association) in Kuala Lumpur and Drew Belinsky (Singapore), Fulbright Program Malaysia, and U.S. Embassy of Malaysia will be helping to support the Ranau Lacrosse Project and it's growth. Together we will achieve great things are we are still looking for 1-2 more people to join us in early April to coach and teach in Malaysia.