The National Lacrosse League (NLL), the largest men’s professional indoor lacrosse league, today announced an extended partnership with Right To Play, a global organization dedicated to protecting, educating and empowering youth in need through play and sport, while driving lasting social change in their communities. This is the seventh consecutive year that the NLL has teamed up with Right To Play to increase awareness of the organization and raise money to support local programming benefiting children in Indigenous communities.
The official start to this league-wide initiative will be today, March 4 with an autographed jersey auction the weekend of March 22-24 culminating the month-long effort of each team and their Right To Play player champion. Players, coaches, and staff from all NLL teams will be auctioning jerseys and hosting fundraising activities to benefit the youth empowerment organization. The programming not only supports local youth facing adversity, but also empowers children to develop their lacrosse skills, enhance their leadership capacity, and understand the importance of sportsmanship and fair play. Teachers in Prince George, BC, are hosting weekly lacrosse clinics for children, teaching fundamentals and putting this into practice in games. On March 29th, there will be a lacrosse celebration at the Nusdeh Yoh school. Extending this partnership, the league will be supporting Right To Play through the off-season with clinics, the organization’s fundraising appeals for Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st and International Women’s Day on March 8th.
“We are very proud to extend our partnership with Right To Play for the eighth consecutive year,” said Nick Sakiewicz, Commissioner of the National Lacrosse League. “This partnership allows us to support Indigenous communities where lacrosse has such deep history, while also empowering children through our game.”
“We are truly grateful for this ongoing and meaningful partnership with the National Lacrosse League,” said Scott Sandison, Director of Community Engagement at Right To Play. “Through the funds and awareness raised through this initiative, we will be able to better serve the more than 1.9 million children around the world who participate in Right To Play programs each week.”
Since 2012, the NLL and Right To Play have reached thousands of Indigenous youth with the support of the NLL and its teams. Not only do these players teach on-field skills of the game, players have also taught off-field life skills such as leadership, sportsmanship and respect to help children work together to build communities and make a long-term impact. This simultaneously builds an active and healthy lifestyle which educates youth on the game, as well as creates a positive experience that they may apply in their everyday lives.
For the second straight year, each team will have a “Player Champion.” These designees are responsible for promoting Right To Play activations across the league, which includes creating awareness on social media and educating their communities on the power of play. Players will also hold fundraisers, creative campaigns and donate game jerseys to raise funds.