Trikala Clinics ~ A Resounding Success!
The second session of clinics conducted by the Women’s Division of the Greek Lacrosse Association (GLA) in Trikala had it all:
cheerfulness, excitement, anxiety and fatigue . . . but also tangible results.
According to Cathy Samaras the presence of 116 students and teachers on the first day of training at the University of Physical Education in Trikala was a terrific opening for the second session of lacrosse training. The teachers-in-training grabbed a stick and jumped right into a top-notch clinic directed by the U19 World Cup Coach Stephy Samaras Mantziaras, Christina Daniskas (former Rutgers club goalie on fellowship to the ACT School in Thessaly) and Maria Samara (Regional Director). What they learned on day one was then taught to upcoming teacher/coaches during the weekend of free training of the young athletes in the Trikala Auxiliary Stadium. They drew on their newly acquired knowledge by throwing and catching with a lacrosse stick, wall ball drills and trying to play this new exciting game for the first time. Everyone agreed that lacrosse is pretty challenging and requires new skills, but . . . they can’t wait to play!
To prove this point, 85 of them returned to the last double training session at the Municipal Stadium on Monday, 11/27. At the end of the session, some called for a repetition of the whole effort in the near future so that they may be trained as regularly as possible. Their exact words were: "We enjoy it and we don’t want to stop here".
The Women's Trikala Soccer Team (AOT girls) gladly welcomed us for the second time at Krinitsia Stadium where lacrosse was introduced last June and they were “hooked”! The GLA will return in early April to not interfere with their highly competitive soccer season!
According to Head Coach Stephy Samaras Mantziaras, "We have already begun to identify those athletes who show the talent and the willingness to compete on the first Greek Women's Lacrosse team at the U19 World Cup in Canada in 2019. It will take an intensive effort on all sides to make this dream a reality! "
A big THANK YOU to the following who helped make this happen:
School of Physical Education and Sport Science of the Univ. of Thessaly:
Yannis Koutendakis, Ph.D. former Dean and Prof of Ergophysiology.
Vasilis Gerodimos, Ph.D. Assoc Professor and Lefteris Soulas, Postgraduate Student for constant hands-on-help beginning with
the first how-to clinics in June to assembling & stringing the goals, storing & moving the equipment and handling logistics
for the 125 participants on the field & in the classroom.
Board of Education: Vassiliki Kakla, Trikala Secondary Education Director, for supporting and sanctioning the teachers-in-training clinics.
Women's AOT: President Stella Papachristou, for her great enthusiasm & constant help.
City of Trikala:
Mayor Dimitris Papastergiou for his endorsement and energy,
Mrs. Efi Leventi. Deputy Mayor of Education, Sports & Culture, and the staff who worked behind the scenes along with Christos Nikolaou, stadium manager
We believe that this grassroots training will increase the enthusiasm for the newly introduced sport very quickly. Instructing local teachers & coaches along with athletes as part of a specific plan to develop their lacrosse IQ, interest in the sport will grow over the winter and explode during the next clinics in early spring where games will be played!
Setting the right precedent now will ensure that the next most popular sport in Greece will be Lacrosse!
The next stars in the 2019 Women’s U19 World Cup may shine from Trikala!
Maria Samara ~ Regional Director