The Nepean Knights Minor Lacrosse Association (NKMLA) is entering its 47th year operating in the west end of Ottawa. It continues to grow, while offering affordable, community-based athletic and social opportunities for boys and girls aged 4-21. The NKMLA runs development, house league and competitive box lacrosse programs. Registration for the upcoming 2016 season is underway. The season begins in early April and runs until the end of June for house league players and until the end of July for competitive players. Winter skills programs run from January to March each season.
Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in North America in terms of new registrants and interest in lacrosse in Ottawa and across Canada is on the upswing. Young athletes and families are drawn to lacrosse for several reasons. Lacrosse is an excellent fitness choice. It is a fast-paced sport where players are constantly on the move, using and developing all muscle groups and enhancing their decision-making. The action in lacrosse is non-stop. Compared to hockey or soccer, lacrosse is higher scoring, with an average game – depending on the age – producing ten, twenty, or more goals. Versatile athletes are also drawn to lacrosse, as it blends aspects of other sports and is perfect for cross-training. It has the strategy, quickness and flow of basketball. Lacrosse has the hand-eye co-ordination and physicality of hockey. Lacrosse is a great way to enhance athletes’ agility, vision, stamina and strength.
And it is super fun! Lacrosse is definitively a team sport. Young athletes learn the value of co-operative play while developing problem-solving and social skills. And parents love lacrosse, even if they are momentarily puzzled by the rules. At any lacrosse game, parents are on the edge of their seats, captivated by the high-energy action while watching their children brimming with confidence as they grow their love of lacrosse.
Lacrosse is officially Canada’s National Summer sport by an Act of Parliament. In typical Canadian fashion we have two National sports: lacrosse in the summer and hockey in the winter. The two sports have long been linked. Over the years, dozens of big-name hockey players have honed their skills playing lacrosse in the spring and summer when the ice comes out of most arenas. From legends like Wayne Gretzky to current NHL stars John Tavares and Jonathan Toews; lacrosse was their summer sport of choice.
Lacrosse is an ancient game developed out of various stick and ball games by the Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois) people from what is now eastern Canada and the eastern United States. The game is known by different names (begadwe in Mohawk) but was dubbed lacrosse by French settlers. The Haudenosaunee regard lacrosse as the Creator’s game and a gift bestowed upon the people.
From its sacred origins, lacrosse has evolved over the years but has been played in Ottawa for as long as the city has been around. From boys and girls community teams to the professional version of lacrosse, the sport has deep roots in Ottawa. The NKMLA presently draws players from Barrhaven, Nepean, Kanata, Ottawa West and the surrounding area. It welcomes new players, offering a free lacrosse stick to all beginners to catch the fun and play lacrosse.