Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/13/14
From US Lacrosse
The Contest: We asked ‘what is the importance of Diversity and Inclusion? What has Diversity and Inclusion meant to you and your lacrosse community and how has it impacted your experience in a positive way?’
Congratulations to 13-year-old Malik Gay of Marietta, Georgia for being selected as the winner of the ‘Lax for All’ essay contest. Our contest judges determined that Malik’s submission, written as a rhyme, did the best job of answering the questions above.
Meanwhile, Ardmore’s Lauren Avery – a 7th grade goalie at Bala Cynwyd in the Lower Merion School District and 2019 member of Ultimate Lacrosse – was was one of only five Honorable Mention winners. Another was Janice Sippio-Henderson of Philadelphia.
Malik says his lacrosse experience started with a donated stick, and soon afterwards, with a donated lacrosse wall at his house. He says that now, he plays lacrosse throughout the year. Last year, Malik and his younger brother, Micah, also began stringing sticks and started their own business called LaxLik (www.LaxLik.com). As an 8th grader, Malik plays for Walton Junior Lacrosse and the LB3 Lacrosse Club. His dream is to one day play in college and to also teach other kids how to play the game.
Malik’s full essay is posted below, and also appears in the April issue of Lacrosse Magazine.
Don’t put me in a box, unless it’s wintertime.
They say it’s not the ending, it’s all about the climb.
On the field and I’m playing, I’m not hard to find.
Because no other player’s skin tone looks like mine.
What exactly has diversity meant to me?
To the kids on my team and my community
It means that lacrosse brings people together,
Throw stereotypes aside, accomplish any endeavor.
On any given day, any team can win,
We strap our helmets on, get ready to sub in.
And then the game begins, people notice my color
But by the time it ends, we respect one another.
Some people try to tell me I’m in the wrong sport
I only belong on a basketball court.
Don’t get me wrong, now I can hoop too,
But on any ground ball I always scoop through.
And football is a game I also like to play,
But my favorite is lacrosse, let me choose my own way.
My love of the game doesn’t stop on the field
I also string sticks so keep your eyes peeled.
Lacrosse has helped me build my own stringing company,
and showed off even more of my versatility.
And now I give back to a lacrosse charity,
So the kids can have the same opportunity as me.
What I want them to know is that they can do anything,
No matter what hardship time may bring.
And if someone judges them, back it up with their play,
And prove that it doesn’t matter what people say.
But for now I am grateful to be on a team,
That all works together and accepts me.
The sport of lacrosse has taught me so much,
Like teamwork, discipline and how to be clutch.
We can all work together, one day we’ll say,
That even if you’re not rich you can still learn to play.
This sport is exciting, a game like no other,
At the end of the day we can all be lax brothers.
Congratulations also to these additional Honorable Mention honorees for their essay submissions:
Claire Dworksy (San Francisco, Calif.)
C. Lauren Avery (Ardmore, Pa.)
Janice Sippio-Henderson (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Charlie Dahling (Kennesaw, Ga.)
Bob Cobb (Fryeburg, Maine)