One Dream - Support Kenya Lacrosse
ONE NATION. ONE DREAM.
Just for a moment, we would like you to imagine a different life; your home is a small dark mud hut, it lets in the rain, it is crammed with people, you may be an orphan, you may have to do hours of work after school and you're constantly hungry. Tonight, you hope will be a better night - your guardian will arrive home drunk enough to pass out so nothing worse can happen.
Ten years ago Storm Trentham introduced lacrosse to Kenya, it was a decision that was to have a long lasting impact, one that even she had not imagined. Fast forward to the closing ceremony of the Under19 Women's Lacrosse World Championship, 2015. By then Storm had played lacrosse for Wales at international level. As a coach her team had won the UK National Schools Championship four times in four years. She had led a Russell Group university team to the British University Championship final for the first time in their history. She had coached the U19 Wales Lacrosse Teams at two World Championships - achieving her goal to get them to the top five in the world. She had also just been awarded the Heart of Lacrosse by the Federation of International Lacrosse. Storm felt she had reached a cross roads, on the one hand she could take a break from the sport but, on the other, how could she walk away from a game that offered so much? It was a pivotal moment and she knew she had one more challenge left in her- what if the power of international sport could be played in a new arena, one that would change and save lives?
Sport is inspiring, rewarding, motivating and most significantly life changing. Why not change the lives of girls in real need? Why not inspire and train a Kenyan team to compete in lacrosse? Why not bring hope and a future to a team of players who face extreme poverty and hardship without aid? Why not make history by bringing the first female African team onto an international stage and play an integral part in achieving Olympic status for lacrosse whilst saving lives?
It was time to seriously give back to a sport that had given her so much.
What We Do
Kenya Lacrosse is proud to provide coaching for, approximately, 400 athletes, as the sport is now being played at an academy in Nairobi and at 14 schools throughout Western Kenya . These have been split into 4 regions which come together to train and compete, as often as finances permit. From these teams the top 30 athletes are invited to participate in elite training weekends. We have a resident coach, Oscar, a fitness coach, Hassan and regular volunteer coaches who join our national team camps run several time a year. These volunteers have so far come from the UK, USA and Australia to assist but we welcome anyone with relevant experience. (We do have opportunities to join future camps so if you are interested in volunteering please contact us via Kenya Lacrosse at dbasports.com).
These training sessions and camps not only provide sport for our girls but give them a respite from their everyday lives. It is an opportunity to build friendships, to get life mentoring and receive health education and screening. But most importantly, it is a chance to get food, water and basic necessities. Indeed, part of our success has been due to the girls knowing they will receive these 'little luxuries' - food and water, something many of us take for granted.
Maureen is one of our elite players: last year she was desperate to come to one of our training camps but she had no money for the bus fare and, un be known to us, she was suffering from malaria. For Maureen lacrosse is not just a game, as with many of our Kenyan girls, it is food, water and an intense hope that her life can change. She worked in every moment of her spare time for six weeks to scrape together enough for the bus fare to get to the training. Still unwell she made the journey to get to the grounds by bus and on foot, she walked a further 6kms but collapsed before reaching us. Fortunately, the local community was able to get word to our team and we found her by the road side. With proper treatment she was playing lacrosse that weekend. She went home stronger and even more determined to alter her life through sport than when she had arrived. It was a salutary reminder to us that we can not give up on these girls.
Maureen in action ......
Why Do We Need Help?
Our athletes are from hugely disadvantaged backgrounds, many are orphans. It is not as simple as arriving at a training session with food, water or kit and many, like Maureen, can't afford the bus fare of $1.20 and have to walk long distances to get to the grounds. Some of them are excluded from school if their parents/guardians haven't paid for school fees, (in Kenya parents/guardians are required to pay for utilities and non-teaching staff, in some schools they also have to pay for food and uniforms. The fee is not capped). The reality is that if they are not at school they can not play lacrosse, the even harsher reality is that if there is no food at home and if they don't get to lacrosse they are not always fed.
As you can imagine, knowing that our athletes have absolutely no means of providing even water or the bus fare for their training sessions, it follows that they are unable to contribute to the funding needed to support them as an international team.
Our immediate aim is to get Team Kenya to Canada for the U19 Women's World Championship in 2019. No female African team has achieved this goal - this will be a WORLD FIRST. If we are successful Team Kenya will have played a vital role in enabling the sport to be eligible to apply for Olympic status in 2028.
Our longer term aim is to provide opportunities for our athletes to find employment both during and after playing for Kenya Lacrosse and be given life skills to assist them in the future. We will be encouraging our players to be the coaches of the future, increasing the depth of lacrosse skill and knowledge of the game throughout Kenya.
How Will We Use the Money?
Our costs break down as follows:
£1/$1- Every Donation Counts: no matter how small every donation is important to us and will go towards changing and improving lives.
£250/$340 - Sponsor an Athlete for the season: Your donation will cover food, water, transport, kit, shoes and non-voluntary coaches. We support approximately 100 athletes per season.
£1000/$1300 - Squad Weekends: Your donation will cover additional non- voluntary coaches, food, water, basic toiletries, transport, chaperones, pitch markings. We aim to have one per month, finances allowing.
£3000/$4000 - Elite Training Camps - 5 day camps: These are for the top 30 players. Your donation will cover accommodation, additional non-voluntary coaches, food, water, basic toiletries, transport, chaperones, pitch markings. We aim to run these every quarter, finances allowing. If you would like to volunteer to be a coach at these training camps please contact us.
£3500/$4700 - Sponsor an Athlete at the U19 World Championships, Canada 2019: This is your opportunity to sponsor a member of Team Kenya, the first female African lacrosse team to represent at a World Championship. It is not everyday that you can play a part in making sporting history and contribute to lacrosse being eligible for the LA 2028 Olympic Games. Your donation will cover the cost for one athlete to achieve this world first.
WE CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT YOU.
ONE NATION. ONE DREAM.