By virtue of Taiwan Lacrosse Association’s (TWLA) efforts in promoting lacrosse in the past few years, such a mindfully demanding sport is no longer foreign to the youngsters in Taiwan. In particular for those who relish hustling on the field, not only has the sport given them stimulus, but also persistent challenges to themselves. In March 2014, the first Men’s Lacrosse Team was formed in Kung-Tung Technical Senior High School. The novices who first tried lacrosse back then have matured with better skills and characters. Above all, the boys learned to pass on their experiences.
The Chairwoman of the Association, Sarah Lin, remarked that TWLA would make Taipei, Taichung and Taitung the three bases of development now, and keep growing the sport by talking over with schools and institutes. She expressed TWLA’s expectation of the teenage boys to cultivate perseverance through the distinctive nature of lacrosse, and to equip themselves with excellent physicality and qualities to earn better education prospects.
Not long after the formation of the team, TWLA was keen to participate in overseas competitions that could expose players to hands-on experiences, foster camaraderie within the team, and allow the teenagers to learn about themselves. They represented Taiwan making appearances in the Greater China Cup and Hong Kong Open in 2016, and notably the 2016 FIL U19 Men's World Lacrosse Championships in which Taiwan ended up in the 14th place. In spite of their debut in international competitions, the team had impressed and touched the coaches, opponents and the officials with their unyielding willpower especially in the game against Mexico with overtime played.
After the participation in the aforementioned tournaments, players have looked forward to more experiences abroad and showcased greater confidence in their performances, giving rise to our idea of an Annual Selection. Beginning from this year, selections of the Men’s Team Taiwan and the U19 Men’s Team Taiwan will be held annually in January in order to facilitate the planning and training for the ensuing international tournaments. The sufficiency of time allows players to bond better thus enhancing their sense of belonging and, moreover, allows coaches to explore potential and sustainable players.
Apart from personal skills, the selections also lay emphasis on attitudes, personalities and their willingness to make redeeming contribution to Taiwan Lacrosse. The seniors of the Men’s Team Taiwan will lead the juniors in the U19 Men’s Team Taiwan to move forward. TWLA holds the same principle in cultivating players’ personalities regardless of ages. Meanwhile, the association looks for good attitudes and stability in the Men’s Team Taiwan, and stresses the skills players possess.
Senior Development Officer, Tim Kwan, explained the quintessence of the Taiwan Blue Magpies, saying, “The Taiwan Blue Magpies is a token of the Association. They harbor a conventional idea of family. We hope our players assume responsibility to the team and the community by pushing themselves, sharing their experiences with and supporting and motivating the younger generation.” Players are usually scattered in different regions practicing on their own, and that is why they seize the precious chances of training all together as a team.
The four maxims embroidered on this year’s jerseys – “succession”, “perseverance”, “smiles” and “breakthrough”, are the Association’s expectation and recognition of the players. We hope they take pleasure in sharing both experiences and glory. For the time being, TWLA will continue to compile multifaceted programs, encompassing nutrition, protection and psychology. We look forward to bringing about more comprehensive and promising supports to our players, just as the Taiwan Blue Magpies care for their families.