U19 Tournament Was a Celebration of the Sporting Spirit
Who among us knew that our proud, fast and skillful Indigenous sport, lacrosse, is now being played at all levels and among both genders around the world?
Wales, lacrosse? Korea, lacrosse? Ireland, lacrosse? You bet.
The 10-day tournament here in Peterborough has come as a delightful surprise, along with the midsummer arrival of 440 teenage girls from 22 countries.
Lois Tuffin, who has worked for two years on a planning committee for the event, tells me I should use the term "nations," not "countries," because an Indigenous team, the Haudenosaunee, is here. I'll try to use the term.
Lois herself "runs tings," it seems to me, up and down from the VIP tent to the media booth to the front gate. On the day it rained heavily, she was ushering all players and fans into the Athletic Centre.
The whole field is fenced off, tickets are $10 for the whole day, maybe five games, and there are scores of friendly volunteers and fans, greeting each other with warmth.
I sit on the unforgiving metal bleachers and watch the Haudenosaunee team. I ask a nearby parent, "Is that Number 18 your daughter?"
"Yes," he says proudly. "I'm from Tyendinaga, and she's played since she was three."
As a well-known fashion expert, I can say the outfits are pleasing to any feminist eye. Skirts and sensible tops, and goggles too, since those sticks can hurt. No beach volleyball attire here.
Perhaps 3,000 people attend major games, Parking is, of course, at a premium. I talk to one Peterborough couple who had parked up near the Hamburg Cabin on Armour Road. Others walked across the bridge from Gzowski College. These were the locals. Everywhere, I hear contented stories from visitors of being in Peterborough. Some were at motels, some at Airbnbs, some camping.
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