CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Public Schools is working on growing the popularity of lacrosse through a new effort to create elementary school teams.
As a starting point, Cincinnati Public Schools worked with Dick’s Sporting Goods to put on a free youth clinic Oct. 29 at Walnut Hills High School.
“We had over 90 kids, both boys and girls, who came out to Walnut to learn the basics of the game from our high school coaching staffs and players,” Walnut Hills boys’ lacrosse coach Conor Peck said.
The student-athletes from grades 1 through 8 learned fundamentals of the game from varsity lacrosse coaches at Walnut Hills. Dick’s Sporting Goods provided equipment such as sticks, nets and balls for the afternoon of lessons. The students also watched a lacrosse-themed movie after the clinic.
CPS athletics manager Josh Hardin said the timing was right to introduce lacrosse within the district to younger students given the fact that the Ohio High School Athletic Association will sanction the sport for the first time this spring.
“With the popularity and growth of this great sport we felt it necessary to introduce the game to many of our students throughout the district that may have never even heard of lacrosse,” Hardin said.
The families enjoyed the experience too.
"They enjoyed the opportunity to be outdoors and get a taste of a new skill," said Mindy Stodart Burke, who had two children participate from Hyde Park School.
The district is excited for the sport's potential.
“The response has been overwhelming and exciting,” Peck said. “We now have two full teams for both boys and girls of those ages (around 50 total boys and 50 total girls) and expect to expand next year based on this year’s success. Our hope is to eventually be able to offer affordable and enjoyable youth lacrosse for these schools and all other CPS schools as well.”