By Ryan Kaczmarski
Over the past few years, the Rocky River High School lacrosse program has become a model of success, and with the growing popularity of the sport, it decided to help further that popularity by inviting the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland out to the high school on Saturday for some demonstrations.
“Rich Starr, the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland program director, was thrilled when I reached out to him about the idea – months ago – to host any number of participants interested in learning a new sport that encourages sportsmanship, athleticism, speed, hand-eye coordination and teamwork,” Rocky River varsity boys lacrosse head coach Ted Dimond said. “We circled last Saturday as the date to host them at Rocky River High School, in an afternoon which included an hour clinic, going through drills and skills led by the 52 boys in the high school lacrosse program. It was an afternoon that was fun for all.”
The Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland exists to provide children who are in most need a place to grow, learn and realize their full potential, and Dimond wanted to extend an arm to them and give the kids a chance to learn a sport that they would not normally be in contact with.
“I’ve always loved community service events for everything you can give, you get so much more back,” he explained. “Sports can take you so many different places in life. It opens doors solely based on the school, town or university you represent. Sports can also provide a unique access as immediate role models, but you have to pinch yourself sometimes to realize it.
“The greatest part was the times I could stand back and watch my players engage in instruction, put an arm around a kid or just laugh with a teammate or boy participating,” Dimond added. “i felt it was a great opportunity to provide the program with a community service event that if one player today found a voice or a side of them they’ve never seen before and liked it, they’ll seek to do something like this again in wherever life takes them. That’s the power of sports.”
The kids came out without a real clue of what to expect and left with smiles and a new found interest for a game they’ve never been exposed to before.
“We gave them each a ball and will send them a bundle of sticks to have at the Boys & Girls Club,” Dimond said. “If you have a ball and a stick, you can play. Wherever there is a brick wall, they can practice.”