I'm delighted to say that I've been selected to represent England at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in Syracuse, USA in September this year and I need your help to get me there as Lacrosse is still an amateur sport so I have to fund it all myself!
A bit about me
Since I could walk I have been playing sport and while at school I played every sport I could. I represented my school at football, cricket, rugby fives, hockey, water polo and cricket to the highest level winning several awards and even found time for rugby on sundays. However I have only been playing lacrosse since my university days in Swansea. I started in my second year and from the first session I was hooked and haven't really put a stick down since. My first club was Swansea Hawks playing in defence for one season; it was then that I realised playing in Goal looked more enjoyable. Having played in goal in many of the mainstream sports I found many of the skills to be transferable; mainly, get something in the way (usually my body, rarely my stick) and stop the ball going in!
My first match in goal was against East Grinstead in the SEMLA Premiership, we lost 20-0 but I still went away with man of the match from both teams. Thankfully things got better from there and within a year I had made the Wales Development side for the World Championships Festival in Manchester 2010. Since then I have reached 2 cup finals with Reading Wildcats and nearly secured promotion to the Premiership in my second season with Maidstone RedWolves. I have also had further representative honors with the South of England team at the British Championships as both a player and coach, most recently finishing 3rd in 2012.
My first taste of box lacrosse came last year at the Tasko Cup when I signed up with the London Knights and Dreadlax. I felt that Indoor lacrosse played to my strengths; more padding, quick reactions and even more contact. That first tournament fuelled my fire and desire for indoor lacrosse and as soon as the first England trials opened I was first in the queue. Since trialling and training I have been increasing my fitness, reactions and stamina and have been taking any opportunity to work on my game (even using a cricket bowling machine to practice taking shots at school).
All of this is mixed in with having a busy life as a Biology teacher at Dartford Grammar School 5 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 and now my oldest son is able to play lacrosse with me in the garden. I'm sure my youngest will be quick to follow.
The journey to the World Cup has only just begun; 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 get. 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. We'll definitely be the under dogs, but 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.
If you want to see more about the WILC their website is here
You can follow #TeamEngland Indoor lacrosse facebook page here