Friday, 19 June 2009

The world has changed-again

Spent yesterday afternoon watching England play USA in Prague in the Womens' World Cup. All on the internet . Excellent- is this the end of TV as we know it ?This way of watching games is a must for 2010.

Following their win over Australia at Cobham there is a lot of interest in how England would do against USA. The first half was tremendous with the game tied at 6-6 at the break. In the second half US power prevailed and they ran out 17-8 winners.

In the 1978 Men's World championship England went down by a single goal to USA with Paul Smith playing an epic game. The game was old style 12 a side wooden stick Lacrosse to 10 a side rules. In 1982 I went to the World Championships in Baltimore and within 5 mins knew that the game had changed beyond all recognition . We had entered the era of the plastic stick where defencemen could handle long poles and were athletes who played agressive , all over the field, lacrosse. That process has continued and watching recent visitors Loyola play England agressive lacrosse is played by athletic middies all over the field. This was not the Premiership. Time for 16 man squads?

Yesterday, in Prague , it was very clear that womens Lacrosse is no longer the pretty game that attracted Queeen Victoria. It is all about power, athleticism and all over the field aggression. The US players , brought up D1 College Lacrosse, are taking us to a new game which is fast, exciting , and very , very physical. The world will never be the same again.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

It is only next year

In less than 13months we will be into the Manchester Men's World Lacrosse Championship and preparations are going well to make it a great event. We have the venue sorted and are more than hopeful that despite all the budgetry constraints that Man Univ are finalising the arrangements to relay the two ATPs.

We are looking towards 26-30 nations taking part but with Guatemala playing Costa Rica in a few weeks and contact with Mexico and Puerto Rica who knows how many nations we may end up with.

Entries to the FIL Festival are also looking very encouraging with an entry today from Florida into the FIL Elite tournament . We have a capacity of about 60 teams in the Festival and already have 32 signed up so signs are positive.

The big issue as ever is funding for the event.

We have just had an economic impact survey carried out by an independent sports consultancy which anticipates that the economic benfit to the UK economy will be in the region of £6.700,000 and with the right level of support and promotion could be well over £8,000,000, making it the biggest event in Manchester since the Commonwealth Games.

However, the body reponsible for funding major events , UK Sport has refused to fund the World Lacrosse Championships despite providing £250,000 for a netball event in Manchester which is not even an official championship and £150,000 for the Women's Rugby World Championship. The sense of grievance continues to grow and the battle will continue. We have recieved a lot of support from politicians particularly Ann Coffey , Paul Goggins and Graham Brady who are all Manchester based MPs. This week we have recived a message from Grham Brady's office saying he will be putting his full weight behind Lacrosse in the run up to the World Championships.