By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/13/09
The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel CYO youth lacrosse program is working to make lacrosse accessible to middle school players in Philadelphia.
OLMC is running a donation program to collect and restore usable lacrosse equipment for the School District of Philadelphia Middle Grades program and has been named the 141Lacrosse Youth Team of the Week.
Tim Udinski, boys’ director of OLMC, said already well over 50 pieces of boys’ and girls’ equipment – such as sticks, pads, helmets and cleats – have been collected. All 300 players in OLMC (grades 3 through 8) are involved in the collection project.
As a key official of the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association (PLA), Udinski is aware of the challenge in building lacrosse programs in the city. The Middle Grades program is in its fourth year and has helped spawn the first public League high school program (boys) at FitzSimons High. The PLA, the governing board of lacrosse in the region and an arm of U.S. Lacrosse, has devoted much time and funding to help kick-start the Middle Grades program and many other new programs in the Eastern half of the state.
“I told the kids there’s kids in the city of Philadelphia that want to play lacrosse and can’t afford the equipment,” Udinski said. “We can help them. Part of our program is about building character in kids and making them better people.
“We do a service project every year.”
OLMC got its project kick-started at its annual Family Pasta night in late March. Henry Hunt, director of the Middle Grades boys’ program and coach at Grover Washington Middle School, was a guest speaker.
More pieces of equipment were collected at the Central Bucks East-CB West boys’ game Thursday night at War Memorial Field. Some parents have purchased new equipment to add to the donation.
“Henry came to the (pasta) event and spoke about their shortfalls are,” said Udinski. “One of the things Henry and I are working on is having our A1 team play his team.
“We also want to have a ‘suburbs vs. city day’ where we and other youth teams in the city travel to one of the city’s Super Sites to play multiple games. We want our kids to meet their kids and get an idea of who they are helping and why they are helping them.”
To nominate a youth team for the Youth Team of the week, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org