The West Kootenay Lacrosse Association (WKLA) held a free camp for players on March 24 and 25 at Selkirk College.
League president and coach Devon Reid was on hand to instruct players in four different age groups: Novice, Pee Wee, Bantam, and Midget.
“We put on a free skills camp,” said Reid. “It’s aimed at giving returning players a head start on the upcoming season and get their skills up, and for people who have never played before to come out and try it and see if they like it before they register with the association and play for the season.”
WKLA also ran a coaches and officials clinic in conjunction with the players camp.
“We had quite a few new kids come out, particularly in the younger age groups,” said Reid. “We had a lot of returning players as well.”
Reid said the league is waiting for the ice to come out of the Castlegar Community Complex arena before teams start practicing, which is expected to be mid-April.
“Our actual league games won’t start until May,” he said. “Tournament season is May and June. Pee Wee, Bantam, and Midget teams have a chance to qualify for Provincials which are in July.”
Four WKLA team qualified for Provincial Championships and did quite well. Reid says that lacrosse in the area is growing steadily.
“It’s been good,” he said. “Last year we grew our numbers quite a bit. We had, of our total registration, I think 30 per cent were brand new players. So that’s excellent for our association.”
This year, Reid expects registration for the league to be close to last year with about 90 members signed up. The players range in age from five right up to 16. Players come from all over the West Kootenay including Castlegar, Trail, Rossland, Beaver Valley, Nelson, and Grand Forks.