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Bellefonte Girls Lacrosse in Australia “Down under” for a unique Lacrosse and Leadership Experience

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Bellefonte, PA – August 23, 2023 – This summer Bellefonte Girls Lacrosse was given a unique opportunity. Coach Doug McKee nominated two of his Varsity players to attend the 2023 Beyond Sports Austrailia Girls Lacrosse Tour; Defensive player, Catherine Reed and Offensive Player, Makena Lake. Beyond Sports reaches out to high school and club coaches across the country in search of the top performers and leaders in high school girl’s lacrosse.
The 11-day, invitation-only tour was to include lacrosse training and competition, leaderhip and development workshops mentorship from collegiate coaches and
a culturally immersive experience. The goals of the Beyond Sports program are to enhance confidence, teach players skill sets to lead and empower peers and teammates, create a greater understanding of the power of sport, and to help players gain a broader awareness of other communities and cultures.
While two players were nominated, only one was able to make the cross-continental trip. Catherine Reed and her family created a bucketlist family vacation out of this “once in a lifetime” opportunity with her grandmother, mother and brother accompanying her on the trip [July 31st to August 10th].
During the Tour, Reed became fast friends and teammates with 15 girls lacrosse players from throughout the US, with all players being upcoming high school juniors and seniors (from California, to Texas, to Vermont, New York and New Hampshire and more). They practiced and worked together on intense drills, teamwork and leadership exercises with US D1 and D2 collegiate coaches and then competed together against various local Austrailian teams.
Reed said one of her favorite parts of the trip was “learning a whole new team dynamic in only a week and pushing through that disadvantage against teams that have played together since they were little and winning their first game.”
Leadership development was also an element of the Tour that Reed mentioned as being a great experience, stating that each night they would would journal and dis- cuss topics that “help you figure out who you are as a person to make you a better leader for your team and help you develop your own leadership style.”
In addition to lacrosse and leadership, time was spent touring various areas throughout Melbourne and Sydney, offering players a true taste of the culture; including attending a Women’s World Cup Soccer match at the Olympic Stadium, visiting koala bears and kangaroos at an animal sanctuary, seeing local street art throughout Melbourne and visiting beautiful beaches.
All-in-all, Catherine stated it was a great experience with amazing girls, mentioning “everyone was so nice and inclusive”. She is excited to bring back all that she has learned from the The Beyond Sports Australia Girls Lacrosse Tour back to her Bellefonte Lady Raider Lacrosse team to help benefit the group next season!

 

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