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.