After losing a season last year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Port Alberni’s minor lacrosse association is hoping to introduce kids to the sport and gain a few new players through free practice sessions.
For the past eight weeks, the Alberni Valley Minor Lacrosse Association has been holding twice-a-week “Try It” sessions at the Glenwood Centre.
AVMLA president Kelly Fines explained that the sessions are for kids who are curious about the sport. The sessions are free of charge. Players have to provide their own helmets and gloves, but the association provides everything else. All the sessions follow COVID-19 health protocols.
“We just do some simple little drills,” said Fines. “They’re not thrown into anything organized yet, so there’s no pressure. We just teach basic skills, then let them fly at it and have some fun.”
The sessions have garnered anywhere from eight to 20 players, from ages five to 16. Fines said that more than half of the players who joined the “Try It” sessions this year have already signed up for the Alberni Valley Tyees’ regular season.
“Which is fantastic,” he added.
This week, ice is being moved out of the Coulson Rink in the Alberni Valley Multiplex in preparation for the upcoming lacrosse season. At this point, the Tyees are limited by COVID-19 restrictions to skills and drills only. But Fines is hopeful that there will be some competition by the end of the season.
“There are no tournaments this year, no provincials,” he said. “We lost our whole year last year because of COVID. The kids never saw the floor. That was tough on our registration.”
Hosting these “Try It” sessions, said Fines, helps to build the sport “from the bottom up.”
Although the “Try It” sessions are over for the year, anyone interested in joining lacrosse can reach out to the association through the Alberni Valley Minor Lacrosse Facebook page or the website at www.albernilacrosse.ca.