How One 12 Year-Old is Helping to Grow the Game

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How One 12 Year-Old is Helping to Grow the Game

We have all heard about amazing people who choose to give back in various ways to their communities. You probably read our own story about 29 year-old Colin Dunn, who gave back a $25,000 value after hitting a hole in one (http://goo.gl/IgtJuu). Well we’ve got another incredible story, but from an unlikely source: 12 year-old Jared Scheinberg.

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Lacrosse 101: Cradling

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Lacrosse 101: Cradling

Want to learn about lacrosse? Check out our first guide on how to cradle a lacrosse ball. We will be posting bi-weekly guidelines to help everyone understand the game!

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Lacrosse Makes Friends: WINNERS Lacrosse Findings Spring/Summer 2015

“Lacrosse makes friends.” This is what my Stanford University lacrosse team said as our mantra during our team trip to Japan over a year ago. Despite our cultural differences and language barriers, we were all able to make new friends through our love of this great sport.

After completing our survey analysis of our spring and summer programs, this message continues to ring true. Our WINNERS Lacrosse players attend 57 different schools and live in nearly 20 different zip codes in Washington, DC. Players responses show 99% of players made a new friend participating in WINNERS Lacrosse programs!

Not only are WINNERS programs connecting boys and girls throughout different sections of the city, but actually teaching them HOW to make friends wherever they go!  This skill will serve them well throughout their lives on and off of the field!

One of our District Lacrosse League players, 5th grader Tusani Jackson, said “Playing lacrosse with WINNERS is fun. It’s a time to learn lacrosse and get better at it and while you're learning you meet new people, you make new friends, and you just build friendships with people and just be happy.”

Pinpoints of schools (left) vs. zip codes (right) of WINNERS Lacrosse Participants

Pinpoints of schools (left) vs. zip codes (right) of WINNERS Lacrosse Participants

After conducting pre-season and post-season surveys, players in our spring leagues self-rated improvements in their confidence, respect, communication skills, and work ethic. In addition, ratings increased for their enjoyment of the sport of lacrosse throughout the season. Lastly, nearly all participants said they want to continue playing lacrosse and would recommend WINNERS to their friends. Seems like we can look forward to many more participants joining our programs in 2015-2016!

This spring, we were able to execute the very first DC Elementary School league that featured over 120 boys and girls. WINNERS Lacrosse finished the second year of the only middle school lacrosse league in DC, the District Lacrosse League, with over 300 participants! We have proudly reached over 600 boys and girls through our Spring and Summer programs, nearly DOUBLING the numbers we reached this time last year! These numbers are just incredible! We wouldn’t have done it without the great coaching and support/administrative staff we have on our team! Thanks to everyone for your hard work and dedication to the WINNERS Lacrosse program!!

With our successes and feedback from the season we are very excited to continue to #growthegame this fall by starting our inaugural Fall Ball league! Details can be found at www.winnerslacrosse.org/leagues and registration is now open!! We are in need of coaches for this new league too, even if you aren’t familiar with lacrosse, we would love any help we can get!

Any questions regarding our programs can be directed to me (Lyndsey Munoz), at lmunoz@winnerslacrosse.org

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WINNERS Lacrosse Fair Chance Graduation

Last week, WINNERS Lacrosse and Executive Director Matt Breslin celebrated the completion of 1 year of work with the capacity building specialists – Fair Chance (www.fairchancedc.org)!

Fair Chance improves the lives of children in Washington, DC's most underserved communities by selecting promising youth-serving nonprofits and providing them with free comprehensive expertise in organizational management.

Our partnership model – up to 500 hours per nonprofit – results in stronger organizations and significant and lasting benefits for the children they serve. 

WINNERS Lacrosse went through a rigorous application and screening process for a Fair Chance partnership opportunity in 2014 and we are so grateful that we were selected! 

Through a lot of hard work, WINNERS was able to increase its bandwidth in the 8 core areas that Fair Chance focuses on (board development, strategic visioning, program evaluation, fundraising, human resources, outreach and communication, financial management and leadership development). 

We would like to thank Fair Chance and especially our fantastic Capacity Building Specialist, Kaajal Shah, for all their help and support.  It was a wonderful year and it was capped off with a FANTASTIC graduation ceremony at the Studio Theatre last Monday, April 20th.

Here are 2 videos from the graduation ceremony that we wanted to share:
WINNERS Video –


Executive Director’s (Matt Breslin) Graduation Speech - 

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A WINNER's Story: Malik Slye

Malik Slye was one of our awesome players at WINNERS, who has now become a great asset on our coaching staff. Originally from SE DC, Malik played football and basketball until he was introduced to lacrosse through the WINNERS program. Now he plays all three sports at KIPP DC College Prep. The following was written by Malik about how lacrosse has impacted his life.

 I am currently 17 years old, attend KIPP DC College Prep, and have been playing lacrosse for over 4 years. I love lacrosse so much, I would like to play the sport until I’m too old to play it anymore.

 Lacrosse is an amazing sport because it allows me to demonstrate my experience, leadership, and athletic skills. I enjoy every single part of the sport whether it’s running, scrimmaging, practicing, or playing in the games. I like not only how I am able to pass the ball to my teammates and cheer them on, but also the cheering from teammates after I score a goal gets me really excited.

 I believe in sportsmanship and leadership. My idea of the sport is to play as a team. Whether we win or lose a game, we stand as a team. In my opinion, we are one force, which makes the game so exciting. It takes a team effort to become a championship team.

 I love to win at the end of the day. This is why I am a member of WINNERS Lacrosse. WINNERS is an organization that creates WINNERS on and off the field by bringing joy, love and knowledge of lacrosse and mentorship to the inner city youth in Washington, DC. I started WINNERS as a player at the age of 13, I played the game of lacrosse with WINNERS until age 15.

 After age 15 I couldn’t play anymore, due to the age limit.  However, I didn’t leave—I decided to transition into a coach because I have a passion to give back to the youth and pay it forward.

I love coaching and teaching younger kids how to play lacrosse because it brings me joy and peace to be able to be a part of such an amazing sport.

 I will continue to play lacrosse in high school, and I plan to play lacrosse in college.


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Using Lacrosse to Change Your Mentality

Around this time is when most kids start freaking out because team tryouts are right around the corner. This made me think of how lacrosse has helped me prepare for these kinds of events, whether it’s a tryout or a job interview.

Lacrosse has totally changed my mentality and my work ethic. I have been through every situation you can think of when it comes to lacrosse. I have not made the team I wanted to make, I have failed my teammates when they needed me, and I have failed myself when I expected more.

However, throughout these trying experiences, I always made it through and learned something in the process...

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Hello, WINNERS!

Hello to the WINNERS Lacrosse family!

For those of you who don’t know, my name is Lyndsey Munoz and I’m the new Program Director here at WINNERS. I’m about three months into it and I absolutely love it. Something that I was really concerned with when I was on the job hunt after graduation from Stanford University was finding a job that I could wake up and be excited to go to everyday. I definitely have been doing that for the past three months, and am so grateful for it.

During my last two years at Stanford, I blogged for Lacrosse Magazine and really enjoyed it. I think it’s a great way to form connections and spread awareness about certain topics. Now that I’m settled in, I’m pleased to bring you the first edition of the WINNERS Lacrosse blog. What we’re aiming to do with the blog is to answer the question, “why lacrosse?” Why is lacrosse such a great tool to reach out to boys and girls in urban areas and impact their lives forever? What is it about lacrosse that makes it so special?

We hope to answer those questions and more through this blog. I will be sharing my experiences, as well as our Executive Director Matt Breslin, and some other guest bloggers in the lacrosse and WINNERS Lacrosse community to share how lacrosse has impacted our lives for the better.

So here we go...

 

Lacrosse is an outlet, as most sports are for kids, but for me it was so much more. When I was younger, and even sometimes today, I was a very shy and quiet kid. I never really liked being in the spotlight; doing anything in front of people was my worst fear. I wouldn’t even try on the ballet costume for the nutcracker when I was 5 because I was so scared. I had always liked sports, since I had an older brother, and was competitive and tough from him, too.

Naturally, since he started playing lacrosse, I had to, too. I started playing when I was five and I liked it more than my other sports but I wasn’t quite in love with it yet. One day, our coach asked me to play goalie. I dreaded it so much, as most girls do … what sane person enjoys the very likely chance of getting hurt? I got in the cage, and it was great. I started training and all of a sudden I was actually pretty good.

Photo Credit: The Baltimore Sun

Photo Credit: The Baltimore Sun

Playing goalie literally changed me. I was required to be loud, assertive, take risks, be confident, all things that I wasn’t off of the field. For once, I enjoyed being the center of attention, the one people were counting on (although, maybe that’s just my inner middle child syndrome talking). The cherry on top was the less running of course, but it didn’t mean I could be lazy. I started taking it seriously, and kept getting better and loving it even more.

Since lacrosse has so many different positions, there’s a fit for every kind of kid out there. With a little help from coaches, you’ll be able to have that “aha!” moment, too. The great thing is that a lot of those qualities that I developed playing goalie began showing up off of the field, too. I wouldn’t be who I am today without lacrosse, and that is a big reason why.


I hope you enjoyed the first post! Feel free to email me at lmunoz@winnerslacrosse.org with any feedback! Thanks for reading!

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WINNERS Testimonials

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Whether player, parent or coach, we look to provide the very best possible experience that we can for everyone.

And we're proud and humbled to say that we've already gotten some amazing feedback!

Check out what people are saying:

My daughters are thankful for being able to experience lacrosse for the first time with such a great group of coaches. We look forward to joining the Spring team in 2013! A HUGE thank you for offering a free week, we never would have simply ‘tried’ it otherwise.
— WINNERS Parent
This was a great learning experience!
— WINNERS Player
My son came away with not only new skills but a hunger for wanting to learn more about the game!
— WINNERS Parent
I think you have compiled a great staff—they always seemed prepared, ready to help, and interacted really well with the players, from what I could tell. On your end, the organization and weekly emails were super helpful in making sure I was prepared for each session I could attend.
— WINNERS Coach
Thanks so much for putting on the camp last Saturday @ St. Andrews it was awesome!!! My son came away with not only new skills but a hunger for wanting to learn more about the game! A big thanks to you the coaches and the entire group at WINNERS Lacrosse!!!
— WINNERS Parent

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