Amy in England - License to Drive
With the end of our program in the near future, most of the American coaches are ignoring the passage of time and are in denial of our impending job searches and return to the “real world.” With most of our programs ending in early March or April, we’re finally having to think about the future. Some of us will go on to grad school, some will search for coaching jobs back in the States, and some will fall deep into the abyss known as “the workplace.” Regardless of where we end up, I’m sure we’ll remain involved in the lacrosse community, and I’m sure there will be many LDO reunions in years to come. In the meantime, our remaining weeks are going to be very eventful. The months of February and March are when all of the school and club lacrosse tournaments take place. The first one, taking place next weekend, is the Timperley tournament, which is put on by our club. All 15 or so schools that we teach in will be sending teams. The top 4 teams from our tournament go on to play in the area tournament, with the chance of moving on to the North tournament, and then the National tournament. One of the schools where Nick and I coach, the Bowdon Church school, are the reigning National champions and are looking good to defend their title. The school tournaments are held for kids under 12, and the club tournaments are for the U-14, U-16, U-19, and senior teams. Unfortunately, the club season lasts much longer than the LDO programs do, so most of us won’t be around to play for and coach our teams in the finals.
In the ongoing battle of England vs. the LDOs, I am reluctant to report that England fell to the LDOs for the first time this past Sunday. They were coming off a well fought and well deserved win from the week before, but just couldn’t put it together against a stacked LDO team. England is now ahead 3-1 in the series and is hoping to keep their losses at one as they continue their preparation for Perth. These first four England vs. LDO games were used to evaluate the squad and pick the final team to represent England in the World Games this summer. The players will find out over the next week if they made the final cut or not. All of our fingers are crossed for James Shuttleworth and Mike Parsons (pictured, top), the two Timperley players currently on the England roster. It’s amazing how many players from England are going to be representing other countries in the World Games. In Timperley alone, we have two playing on the England squad, one playing for Scotland, and two playing for Wales. I’m sure the boys will have the experience of a lifetime.
I’ve decided to add pictures of a few LDO cars to show the range of quality and style. One of the perks of our job is that we’re provided a car with all the costs covered (including insurance and gas reimbursements). A few LDOs get lucky and drive brand new cars with all the toys. Bryan Cole, the LDO for the Rochdale Lacrosse club, is lucky enough to have one of these. However, as you can see from the picture, he gets a little spice added to the side of his car. And he won’t admit to whether or not it helps him to pick up all the English women when he’s cruising through town (well, he is a Lacrosse Professional).
More commonly, a LDO ends up with a car like mine, a 1986 red Volkswagen Polo with an AM-only radio and only one working door. Although it has its imperfections, I’ve grown quite fond of my little car while I’ve been over here, and it’s treated me well. Considering I had to drive it out of the dealership on my own with a VERY limited knowledge of driving stick shift and managed to survive to this point, I really can’t complain. I think the look on my face as I saw my car for the first time says it all, I was very amused at the fact that I was being given a car that I really had no idea how to drive. I guess that’s what all of my time over here has been about...learning experiences.
I can also report that the first English youth lacrosse publication of the new year is being officially released in this very installment. 11-year-old Clare Bernstein, who had to sit out of lacrosse last week due to illness, produced the first “Worldwide Guide to Lacrosse” during her missed lacrosse lesson. It was presented to me at the end of class, and explores many areas of the game, including the equipment (as hard as I try, I just cannot get the kids to call it a “stick” instead of a “bat”.) It’s perfect for anyone across the globe who may be interested in starting a youth lacrosse program in their area.