The Front Door of Lacrosse in Urban Seattle

The Seattle Metro Youth Lacrosse Association received a $5,000 US Lacrosse Diversity and Inclusion Grant to bolster the nascent Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club lacrosse program, which used the funds to buy gear, hire instructors and fund summer camps.

US Lacrosse, in its mission to provide national structure and resources to encourage the growth and participation of lacrosse in underrepresented communities, created the Diversity and Inclusion National Grant Program in 2014. The program provides funding to qualified organizations that initiate and continue programs or projects that promote lacrosse participation and education.

This year, the Seattle Metropolitan Youth Lacrosse Association was one of many clubs around the country awarded a Diversity and Inclusion Grant. The Seattle Metropolitan Youth Lacrosse Association was awarded $5,000 to help fund the continuation of a lacrosse program recently established at the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club in the Central District of Seattle.

“We want to make lacrosse available to more people in Seattle,” said Peter Blue, president of the SMYLA. “We are still building a foundation for the sport here.”

The Boys & Girls Club program, which provides an introduction of the sport of lacrosse to youth, is for both boys and girls ages 7 through 12 who participate in the afterschool programs offered by the club.

“This program is establishing a foundation for the sport to children who are underserved in the urban-Seattle area,” said SMYLA secretary Ron Wright, the program leader. “This is the front door of lacrosse for these kids. This program provides exposure to a sport that many children in Seattle have no experience with.”

With an overall goal of establishing lacrosse as a primary sport for youth participating in the Boys & Girls Club program, the SMYLA hopes to use this grant to create more opportunities for children to play lacrosse year-round. The money from the grant will go toward buying more gear, hiring more instructors and helping fund summer camps.

“I’m thrilled that they are taking this initiative, as it’s a great program that’s working with a wonderful organization and exposing kids not only to the sport of lacrosse but to physical activity and team building,” said Lyn Porterfield, US Lacrosse regional manager for the Pacific Northwest. “The sport is still growing on the West Coast and accessibility is still an issue.”

The SMYLA hopes that this grant and the establishment and growth of the introductory programs at Boys & Girls Clubs across Seattle will continue to add to the foundation of lacrosse on the West Coast.

“The growth of high school programs around Seattle begins with this introduction of lacrosse to the younger children,” Wright said. “It all starts here.”

Locally Grown

More than 30 high school boys’ teams from the western U.S. played in the Boise Invitational in March. It’s one of the largest tournaments in the region.

One of the first states to fully adopt the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model, Montana boasts 37-percent growth in the last two years.

Northern California
MLL All-Star Game weekend, including a youth tournament and other activities in which the chapter is involved, is July 7-8 in Sacramento.

More than 116 coaches were trained in Wilsonville in February during a CDP super weekend hosted by the chapter. 

The 2016 class of the Washington Lacrosse Hall of Fame will be inducted at an event later this year.  Inductees include Dejon Hush, Greg Maestretti, Jeff Roberts, Val Torrens and Jeannette Wake.

Picture This

All in the Family

Returning women’s game official Steve Fricke proudly poses with newly minted junior official (and daughter) Cossette — one of more than 80 junior officials recently certified to officiate youth games this spring as part of the Washington Women’s Lacrosse Umpire Association’s junior official program.

My USL Rep

Lyn Porterfield, US Lacrosse Pacific Northwest Region

Lyn Porterfield joined US Lacrosse in December 2016, after 20-plus years as a photo producer and a three-year stint as executive director of the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association.  She grew up riding horses in northern California, but was introduced to lacrosse by her kids, who played in high school and college. She has been a women’s official for six years and tries to join her husband, Patrick, a fly-fishing guide, on the river as much as possible.

How can US Lacrosse help grow the sport in your area? Contact Lyn at or 410-235-6882, extension 114.

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