The 2003 European Newcomers Tournament in salzburg included Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Latvia and Spain. It was a rain soaked event from start to finish... or
Finnish, as it were. The surprise Fins took the gold followed by the Danes and Italians.
Ken Galluccio - Canada
Jim Price - Canada
Andreas Rossband - Germany
Alexander Daskalow - Germany
7 new officials from the European newcomers were trained at the event as well! The Event was made possible by a grant from the ILF and was much appreciated. Frank Lawrence of Canada donated referee shirts to the new nations and to Peter Mundy and the ELF donated their whistles and flags.
Austria was a wonderful host and the city of Salzburg is enchanting as you can see in some of the pictures. Arthur and Claudia ran the event and did a great job!
Lacrosse started in Denmark in the spring of 2002. At that point it was just a group of guys in Copenhagen, Denmark getting together and deciding to try and play lacrosse. Kristian Gotsch had been living in Canada for a few years and while watching a few box games when living in lacrosse country, he never had a chance to play the sport himself. Upon his return to Denmark he searched to see whether he could try and play the sport in Denmark anywhere. Unfortunately, the sport was nowhere to be found. Kristian decided to gather some guys together and, with a few sticks and some rules downloaded from the internet, the first practice took place in April of 2002.
Lacrosse quickly got attention from the local media and new players came out to try the sport. After a few months, Copenhagen Lacrosse was ready to play its first games and participated in the fall season in Sweden. After some serious defeats by the Swedes, the Danes decided to intensify their practices. A few months later they participated in tournaments in Germany as well as back in Sweden. Today, 18 months later, Danish Lacrosse has come a long way. The Danes are not only winning games now, but a women's team has been established, youth programs are under way. Two great websites are up and running now so you can get more information; www.danishlacrosse.com and www.copenhagenlacrosse.com. Experienced players from Canada and the US have joined the team and more are welcome. Newspaper and television exposure has been achieved so the word is getting out and a national governing body has been established to support those who want to play. Danish Lacrosse is even an affiliate member of the ILF!
The Danes have been working toward the goal of competing in the European Newcomers Tournament since almost the very beginning. The Danish team in Austria consisted of 19 players, head coach Chad Abbey and three staff members, team doctor Ann-Britt Lund, team physio Nanna Baszkiewicz and team manager Marie Colding Olsen. They were captained by Kristian Gotsch, Jonatan Gissel and Jesper Lind. It was considered the first real test of Danish lacrosse and will help develop the sport further in a country where soccer is considered THE sport. Not only will it attract new players but will also help them in terms of raising funds, getting more media attention and ultimately sponsors. Despite losing in the final, the Danes had a great time in Salzburg and did very well on the field. Danish Lacrosse (and maybe Danes in general) are becoming known after only such a short time for being serious when they have to be serious but having a great time when it is time for that. It is no secret that the Danes were the last to go to bed (some never made it to bed!) on the last night after the games were over.
The next step for the Danish program is to keep developing the game and their own skills in order to compete with the locals - Germany, Finland and Sweden. They will get their chance next July at the European Championships in Prague and in 2006 in London, Ontario, at the World Championships. Coach Chad Abbey thinks they will be ready, "Everybody involved in the Danish Lacrosse program has done an extraordinary job, from planning to execution and the program will certainly continue to rise strongly in the years to come. This tournament has been a great opportunity for Danish Lacrosse to earn some respect from the other lacrosse nations, put Danish Lacrosse on the map and as a stepping stone to the European Championships in Prague 2004 and Toronto 2006." The young father of Danish Lacrosse Kristian Gotsch adds, "Everyone will see a strong Danish side, fighting hard on the field. And when the games are over the lacrosse players from around the world will see the other side of the Danes - the party side".
The Danes seem to have fun with every aspect of the game, even the marketing. "We try to do whatever we can," says Gotsch, "from participating in running events in downtown Copenhagen with full equipment on to holding pub nights or practicing in the pouring rain. But we're also having serious meetings with large companies about support. Our intent is to make lacrosse big here, both the men's and women's games."
Ken Galluccio is the DLaxV (Germany) Chief Official, an
ILF Referees' Committee Member and the ILF Referees' Assosiation Coordinator for Mainland Europe. He can be heckled, we mean reached at email@example.com
LAX OPPORTUNITY IN ITALY: Coach wanted for Milan Youth Lacrosse! This will be a paid position (to be worked out directly with players and parents), part time for someone already living in or around Milan, Italy. These kids are 14 and under and are very enthusiastic. They keep asking The Italian Lacrosse Federation to help them find a coach, but all we have been able to do is get them some basic equipment. If interested, contact Roberto Pisa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Announcing the American Overseas School of Rome Youth Lacrosse and Intercrosse Tournament
November 8-9 (weekend)
(teams can arrive on the 7th)
8 on 8 field lacrosse (17 and under)
5 on 5 mini field lacrosse (11 and under)
Intercrosse (17 and under)
Fee 250Euro per team (includes housing in our gymnasium)
Contact: Robert Corna
tel. 0039 348 472 2773