Recently, we uncovered a 2015 blog post we wrote from our FIRST ever trip to Europe to teach lacrosse and run free clinics for international lacrosse programs. This trip was monumental in the development of the Give & Go Foundation. Check it out!
We have finally arrived in Europe after much anticipation for the trip of a lifetime. Over the past few months we have worked diligently to put together an itinerary that would immerse us in European culture and bridge us to the unique lacrosse communities across the Atlantic. The feedback we received on our intentions to run clinics created such a positive anticipation for what we’d be able to accomplish during our trip to Europe. Thanks to the blessings of Casey Powell, Heather O’Neill, and the whole World Lacrosse Foundation group, we looked forward to executing our mission to Share, Inspire, and Support lacrosse while having the opportunity to explore and capture everything Europe has to offer. What at first was two friends and competitors looking to travel after our MLL seasons, now became something more… An opportunity to represent our lacrosse community in a foreign country and display what lacrosse means to all of us.
We hit the ground and met in Amsterdam, where we spent the day together, catching up and sharing our excitement for the beautiful city of Amsterdam. The city is vibrant and welcoming, with an array of great food, sites, and art. The people are extremely kind and genuine, and made us feel at home wherever we went. We rented bikes, visited the Van Gogh, Banksy, and Andy Warhol art exhibitions, rode through the Amsterdam canals, and learned as much as we could about the Dutch local culture.
On Friday August 26th, we headed to the local train station in Amsterdam to make our way to Utrecht. Passing through the Dutch countryside with our custom CPWLF backpacks (thanks CP!), we were not quite sure what to expect upon our arrival. Our host Tom Caniels met us wearing a Carolina lacrosse t-shirt, instantly making a friend out of a certain former UNC alum. The trip was easy, and we flawlessly made it to our final destination: a beautiful athletics facility that the local lacrosse clubs meet to practice and train.
We headed to the practice field and began our greetings and introductions. Right off the bat we were impressed with their friendliness and passion for our sport. We knew we were in for a great practice after shaking hands and meeting all of the players. The appreciation and gratitude was as obvious in their smiles as in their playing style..We’re not sure if we’ve ever heard a group louder in line drills than these guys! The group consisted of a wide range of 15-30 year olds who play for their respective towns in a club league. Players traveled from all over the country to get on the field and share their excitement for our great game.
We closed the clinic by doing our best to explain how amazing this was for us. The opportunity to be on the field coaching and playing lacrosse in Holland was only an idea hatched many months prior… And now it had come to fruition. We lent our appreciation for the incredible display of passion and and gratitude for the special day of lacrosse. We also expressed our need for them to join the mission of WLF. The players now have the responsibility to spread the game: to inspire their friends to play, share their stories and love for the game, and support lacrosse growth in all capacities.
After the clinic we signed autographs, took pictures (only a couple selfies), and socialized with our new friends and teammates; talking lacrosse, Dutch culture, and even Donald Trump. The excitement in our new friends’ eyes to have the opportunity to chat about lacrosse was fantastic. Many of the players were extremely well-versed in lacrosse current events, brands, and all had their favorite MLL and college players.
This experience was an absolute dream come true. To have the opportunity to share the game we love while inspiring lacrosse players worldwide is something we don’t take for granted! We are both thankful to the CPWLF for their support in this journey, and hopefully we can continue to work with our international friends to grow our sport.
Thank you Amsterdam!
Next stop: Prague, Czech Republic!
Follow @worldlacrossefoundation, @marcusholman1, and @adam8taylor to keep up with our travels and our unbelievable lacrosse inspired journey!
Yours in lacrosse,
Marcus Holman & Adam Ghitelman