In September 2015 I had the huge honour of being selected for England to compete at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in Syracuse. This was such a fantastic experience and my love for indoor lacrosse has grown even more ever since.
The tournament was such a wonderful experience; to be given the opportunity to play the game I love alongside a fantastic group of players, at the birthplace of the sport was one I'll never forget (and still talk about daily).
Since returning from the WILC I have been playing for Purley and training regularly in preparation for the inagural European Indoor Lacrosse Championships. I have been very fortunate to once again be selected to represent England in July at these Championships in Turku. This tournament represents a huge step for the Indoor game as there will be 16 teams competing at the event (there were only 13 at the World Championships). There are a huge number of new teams involved and as a result the popularity of the sport and standard of the teams is increasing. Following our excellent performance in 2015 to finish 5th at the World Championships we go into the tournament as the number 2 seeds. With a tough group (including the Czechs, Germany and the host nation Finland) we have been working hard with a new coaching team and improvements are clear to see. The aim for Gold is more than realistic and we have put everything into this target.
I balance my enthusiasm for lacrosse with a busy life as a Biology teacher at Dartford Grammar School, five and a half days a week as well as being a loving father and husband to my wonderful family. One of my many highlights in life has been becoming a father (twice) and now my oldest son is able to play lacrosse with me in the garden. I'm sure my daughter will be quick to follow.
Playing for your country might sound glamorous and we are very fortunate to get the opportunity but we need your help to do it. Lacrosse is severely under-funded in the UK - in fact, the English Lacrosse Association receives zero funding from any sports funds, government allocation or councils for its senior program. Equally, there are no big sponsorship deals from corporations like football or rugby. Obviously, it's a much smaller sport here in England, but across the world, it's much bigger and teams from other countries attract huge funding and sponsorship.
What we lack in funding, we make up for in pride and passion! To this end, every player needs to self-fund the entire trip - this means plane tickets, accommodation, food, transport, kit, training facilities - basically every cost is passed onto the players - and that's where I need your help.
I'm asking you to make a donation; any donation, no matter how small, will make such a difference. I know this is slightly different in the sense that I'm not climbing a mountain or running a marathon, but to represent my country in the sport I love would be such an honour and your donation will be helping raise the profile of lacrosse in the UK. Lacrosse is my passion - I live for the weekend when I'm playing and always strive to make sure I'm the best I can be. I can't wait to represent #TeamEngland. Please help my dream become a reality.
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