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programs and advises groups as far away as Wisconsin and Florida on how to do the same. He also plays goalie on Long Island’s wheelchair team, which is allowed to have three able-bodied players. “It’s not just giving them a body,” Nelson said. “I like playing with them. When they’re out there, they’re just lacrosse guys.” Just being lacrosse guys is a big reason why players with special needs tend to have so much fun playing lacrosse.


“All they want to be is a typical guy for one day and throw the ball around,” Nelson said. “They just want to be one of the guys.” The chapter works with local colleges like Hofstra, Adelphi and LIU Post to bring special needs players onto campus for clinics. “I’ll run into some of these guys in lacrosse circles later,” Nelson said. “And they’ll say, ‘Oh man that was the most awesome thing.’ The volunteers get just as much out of these programs. For me in 45 years of lacrosse, this is absolutely the highlight of my career.” The chapter is also helping to grow lacrosse in lower income areas of Long Island and New York City by donating sticks, helmets, uniforms and resources. They’re even finding ways to help those who are slightly more fortunate. The recently instituted a rule that all 1,400 PAL coaches in Nassau County must be US Lacrosse-certified.


LOCALLY GROWN DELAWARE


The Atlantic Lacrosse Club in Lewes, Del., is supporting the start of a new adaptive lacrosse program in the region. With chapter support, the club hosted its first event March 11 at Cape Henlopen High School in conjunction with a play day that included 16 different schools.


DELMARVA


The chapter hosted a USL Coach Development Program Level 1 clinic, trained local CDP trainers, while also working with local officials organizations to support education and training initiatives.


LONG ISLAND (METRO N.Y.) The LI Metro Lacrosse


Foundation and City Lax supported Level 1 training for all New York City high school coaches. The chapter and Nassau County PAL each donated $1,250 to the local lacrosse officials organization to support an observation program.


USlaxmagazine.com NEW JERSEY NORTH


The Jersey Girls Lacrosse Association has implemented training requirements resulting in USL certification of its coaches.


NEW JERSEY SOUTH The annual Gil Gibbs


Jamboree on June 11 brings the entire state lacrosse community together (men and women) for high school all-star games, youth games and awards.


PHILADELPHIA (EASTERN PA.) The Philadelphia Lacrosse Association is working with the Chester School District to introduce the US Lacrosse PE curriculum into its schools. It also partnered with the Headstrong Foundation to start the Headstring Project to refurbish donated sticks with the foundation’s signature lime green mesh to be redistributed to PLA New Start teams in the Philadelphia area.


So how do you convince


someone who grew up with a stick in his hand that he needs to take a Level 1 course?


Nelson referenced the old Hair Club for Men commercial (“I’m not just the president, I’m also a member”), noting that he took every course himself before asking anyone to sign up.


“Even if you’re this great coach that played with Jim Brown, the day you stop learning is the day you’re dead,” Jacobs said. “I tell everyone, ‘After you take it and you come back and say that was the biggest bunch of hooey I’ve ever seen, I will personally pay for your US Lacrosse registration and what it cost you to do the certification.’” No one has taken him up on the


offer yet. USL


May/June 2017 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE


33


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