Grow the Game Day "x"🥍
I was nominated by "Someone" to participate in the 10 day ‘Lacrosse, Be Active’ challenge for all players, coaches, and support staff.
Everyday I select an image from a day in the life of Lacrosse that has had an impact on me or been a memorable moment and post it without a single explanation.
That’s 10 days, 10 Lacrosse photos, 10 nominations. Be active, be positive, be passionate. Give back to the game.
Today I nominate "another person"
These post are doing the rounds on Facebook again. I have been nominated before and every time I have said.... yeah, no thanks! Well this time around I said yeah okay... why not. And you know what... I loved it!
I reminisced on the past, the friends I have made, the people I have played with, coached or supported. I thought of family, both above ne in the family tree and below. It made me reflect on lacrosse and what it has given me. It also made me reflect on a personal level. No question, I was a tool at times.
There is plenty not to like about social media. But one amazing thing is that Facebook in particular has allowed me to keep a diary without even realising it. I can scroll back through my many years of history and see just how much lacrosse has influenced my life.
So putting my heart on my sleeve, I am going to go against the rules and explain every photo I posted in the 10 day challenge. This is big for me. I really only have a couple of really close friends from lacrosse. Heaps of friends... but only a couple of close friends. So even my friends might learn some things about me!
Day 0 - "The Greenhatches"
Back Row - Eric, Colin, Bronwyn, Basil, Rodney. Front Row - Leanne, Stella, Judy, Rosalie.
This photo is of my paternal grandparents and all of my aunts and uncles. At the Glenelg Lacrosse Club at Wigley Reserve this photo was one of many you could look at as you walked up the staircase. I chose this photo as my love for lacrosse starts well before I was born. They say lacrosse is in your blood... I would say it firmly lodges itself in your DNA!
Day 1 - Me and my brother
Me and my brother Stephen
This is not the earliest photo of me and lacrosse but the earliest one I could get my hands on. I didn't even know it existed until I started looking for photos but this is particularly special as Stephen has since passed away and this is a rare photo of us getting along.
Day 2 - Southerns!
1989 Under 11 Division 2 Premiers
The Southern Districts Lacrosse Club was formed with the help of my grandparents... I think my grandfather was the first Treasurer. I joined SDLC in 1989. This was my first of 2 junior premierships! We won again in 1991. Some of these boys and I were witness to some of the greatest parties lacrosse has ever seen. I am still friends with a lot of these kids, and now, even though the Southern Districts Lacrosse Club has folded and we all went our separate ways (well I did... I went back to Glenelg) I have ended up playing with these guys yet again!
Day 3 - Representative Lacrosse
This is the 1994 SA Western Redskins. I was 12. This was my first rep team. Two of the kids in the last photo are also in this one. I played in 3 Under 15 teams and co-captained in 1996. I also played in 2 under 17 teams again captaining in 1998. Unfortunately we lost to the Eastside Kings in the GF in 1995 and 1996. We also lost to Vic in the GF in 1997 and 1998. I made the all-star team in 1998 after playing my best tournament ever. I don't write this to brag... plenty of kids have achieved these sorts of results... better results even. But these tournaments provided me with so many memories, life lessons, independence... and this picture is where it all began.
But with it are many regrets too. I only played senior state once. It was a good one to play in as it was one of the years where each team traveled once and the final was in Melbourne. However I was terrible.
I was an alternate for the Under 19 Aussie team in 1999 which was disappointing but another regret was not trying out for the inaugural ASPAC Aussie team.
I definitely wasted my potential and I have some excuses but at the end of the day, I made the decisions I made and I have to had to live with them!
Day 4&5 - State League Premierships
2004 SA State League Premiership Glenelg def West Torrens
2006 SA State League Premiership Glenelg def Burnside
We trained 3 times a week including Sundays, more often than not, after big night Saturday. We went through some really hard times... times Glenelg had hardly seen before. We scraped into finals some years. So to win in 2004 and against a club that caused Glenelg so much pain in the 90s was really, REALLY, satisfying. I will never forget when that final whistle went. In my opinion, this premiership in 2004 was the start of Glenelg's amazing run of success that continues today. And it really is owed to the amazing man Craig Treloar. He was the best coach I had.
In 2006, cemented our position as one of the best teams in the league and proved the 2004 premiership was not a one off. It couldn't beat the feeling of the 2004 final but it was close!
The current crop of GLC State Leaguers would do well to know that some blokes worked really hard to get the club where it is. The lads now only know success. They know success because of the culture that the guys before them created. Guys like Andy Semmler worked his butt off and unfortunately never got to taste a league premiership, but it is because of guys like him that the current lads have a success culture to thrive on.
Day 6&7 - More special games
2010 Division 1 Premiers
Col Greenhalgh Memorial Game
The Grand Final in 2010 was played on the anniversary of my brothers passing. It was a huge day for me. Apparently I played well. To be honest it was a blur. I don't know who we played. I know we won. I know afterwards I was extremely emotional. The emotion was extremely assisted, if you know what I mean, but the whole day for me was too much.
The second photo was played on the Saturday after my Uncle Col passed. We honoured him with a win which was great. And to do it with these guys, some of whom played with Uncle Col, was equally special.
Day 8 - ANZAC Day
Receiving the ANZAC Day award from Frank Owen
In 2008, I was lucky enough to participate in the ANZAC Day match. In SA, they have a grand final rematch. We played Woodville who beat us in the GF the previous year. I think I scored 4 goals for the day and I remember thinking whoever picks this award was watching a different game. In saying that, the medal I received from the late Frank Owen, distinguished serviceman, is the only one I can tell you where it is.
The photo is also my very first Facebook profile pic!
Day 9 - First game for the double blues
My first game for the Sturt Lacrosse Club, ironically against my old club
In 2018, I made a huge decision to move clubs. I was losing the passion and felt like I could offer more to a different club than I could at Glenelg. To say I was nervous before this game is an understatement. A lot of the guys in the Glenelg team were my teammates at one stage or another. In fact, I am pretty sure that the guy about to whack me in the photo above is Nathan Bolton, a guy who I have a lot of respect for and my co-captain of the Glenelg State League team at one point. The move to Sturt has been fantastic. I had been wrapped in the whole GLC bubble, probably if my own doing, and moving to another club opened my eyes to a whole other world. My passion has been reignited to the point that I now run a business that sells lacrosse equipment.
Day 10 - The future
The 2019 SLC Under 8 Mixed team
The aussielaxgear.com.au stand at the Under 15 nationals
The future looks bright! I had the pleasure of coaching the first ever under 8 team for the Sturt Lacrosse Club in 2018 and in 2019 we had our first win. I have really enjoyed coaching these kids. I have tried to teach them the basic skills for them to get better but mostly I have just put all my effort into these kids having fun. I want to see them back the next year. If they don't come back, I have failed in my job. Even better, there is a fourth generation of my family running around on the field. Lachie is the lad in front of me and Hannah plays Under 11s. I never pushed my kids to play lacrosse. In fact, if fate had have allowed Lachie to play footy in 2018 I may have given up all together. But footy said he was too young and so he played lacrosse. Lacrosse could learn from this lesson! And then Hannah decided she wanted to play and now calls it her spirit sport!
I spent so many days at lacrosse listening to parents saying "It's just so hard to get lacrosse gear... where can we get it". Well now you can get it locally. Lacrosse equipment suppliers have come and gone in Australia. For whatever reason I don't know... I haven't asked. All I want to do is focus on what I can do now. I want to provide a cheaper option for people to buy a stick, gloves etc. I want people to try before they buy if they want. And I want to give back where I can to help grow the game. I started by donating the sticks to the Australian Lacrosse Network which fit all of my goals. And there is more to come real soon. I really hope that the lacrosse community continues to support us and we will do our best to continue to support them.
So there you have it. An explanation of the photos I posted for the 10 day lacrosse challenge. It was a whole lot of fun. If you get the chance to do it... DO IT! You really won't regret seeing not only your journey, but the journey of those you nominate.
Keep chasing those ground balls Aussie Laxers!!!