Please join me in raising money for Nigeria Lacrosse and their entrance into the World Lacrosse Games as a member country for the 2023-2024 games.
My name is Kendall Keahey; I am 25 years old and from Upstate, NY.
In the city that I grew up in, lacrosse is king. It's native to our land, and I was blessed to have been introduced to the sport at an early age. After quitting baseball in 5th grade, I switched to lacrosse after my father had a conversation with his colleague at the time, 4x Syracuse Lacrosse All-American Ric Beardsley. My father explained to Ric that I was a pretty rambunctious kid; baseball was getting dull and boring, and he was looking for something I could do in the spring season. Ric suggested lacrosse, and the rest was history…
After beginning lacrosse the following 6th-grade season, I immediately identified that this was the sport for me. By winter of 9th grade, I had quit all other sports I was playing (football and basketball), and by the summer going into my 10th-grade year, I had my first few D1 offers. At the beginning of my 10th-grade year, I committed to Fairfield University in Connecticut, where I became team captain.
Throughout my career, I had several mentors and coaches that not only aided in my development as a lacrosse player but also helped my progression as a man. People like the aforementioned Ric Beardsley, Jovan Miller, Coaches Andrew Whitley and Andy Copelan. Their influence drove me into coaching youth lacrosse, with clubs like Team 91 and several camps, training and clinics. I’ve always felt indebted to this sport.
Around two months ago, I discovered my DNA and learned that I am majority Nigerian. At 25 years old, this was a pretty big moment for me. I pondered how to integrate into my original culture and connect with my people. The ideas were all quite far-fetched. Less than one month after receiving my DNA results, Nigeria Lacrosse announced that they are being recognized as a member country for the World Lacrosse games and the African Association of Lacrosse for 2023-2024 onward. This got my juices flowing. I wanted to participate in the journey and play for the team.
I contacted the organization directly and was able to speak with the President of Nigeria Lacrosse, Adie Thomas Akomaye. Immediately, I felt at home. Adie explained to me how he started lacrosse in Nigeria with just two sticks and two balls and has been able to grow the sport to the level of being accepted into the World Games. He has been running clinics and camps for his players and really making an effort to get the name of lacrosse more widely recognized throughout the country.
Now - in conjunction with Adie and the Lacrosse Association of Nigeria (LAN), we are starting a GoFundMe to help fund and support Nigeria’s entrance into the World Games for Lacrosse. This GoFundMe will be very important in helping ensure that Nigeria Lacrosse is well positioned to become a competitive lacrosse nation and, most importantly, in the immediate future, become ready to participate in the World Games 2023-2024.
Below I am sharing information about what the money will be used for:
1). Equipment: Throughout my conversations with Adie and Nigeria Lacrosse, I learned that the team is very short on gear. We are using some of the funds raised to purchase additional sticks, helmets, balls, goals, gloves, elbow guards, and cleats for the kids and athletes to practice the sport and ultimately improve. It will also allow more young people to access equipment and begin playing the sport earlier.
2). Running Costs: Nigeria Lacrosse has been orchestrating several clinics and camps in Nigeria for the past three years. He has been doing so to grow the game and sharpen the skills of his team, specifically. These camps and clinics have an obvious cost, and a portion of these funds will be dedicated to the running costs of the camps and clinics Nigeria Lacrosse continues to run.
3). Travel: Nigeria Lacrosse will have to travel for both the World Games and for games within Africa. A portion of these funds will be put away for travel expenses.
Specific expenses are shown below in the flier - please note that CAC IT Register Number for the business is located on the flier and the bank account number.
Lastly - I thought it would be essential to share a note from the President of Nigeria Lacrosse himself, Adie Akomaye. He has been unbelievably committed to the sport, forking up much of his own money to get this whole thing started. He is such an inspiration, and it’s important to hear directly from him:
"I'm High Prince Adie Thomas Akomaye, the founder and President of Lacrosse Association of Nigeria (LAN), also known as Nigeria Lacrosse. We became a Member of the World Lacrosse family on the 1st of June, 2022. Nigeria Lacrosse started in 2019 with just two sticks in a country of over 300 millions people. But today, we have a number of sticks, passion and determination is our key driver to where we are today. Nigeria Lacrosse started with five school academies, and in today we have over 27 Schools with Nigeria Lacrosse Academies in just Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria, as we are working hard to have over 300 Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions with Nigeria Lacrosse Academies and Clubs and Our NIGERIA LACROSSE States and LG Clubs and National Teams before 2024 by God's grace. Please help Nigeria Lacrosse; as you know what we need to achieve by having our Nigeria Lacrosse National Teams before 2024."
Any donation amount would help, and if you are not in a position to donate, please feel free to share on your socials! Thank you all!