This in and of itself, shouldn’t be news. ELF should have one already, actually all sporting organisations should have one. Unlike in the UK, lacrosse is a niche sport throughout most of Europe, with maybe a couple of hundred players in a country. Which is why every lacrosse team, club, organisation should be making everyone feel welcome to play our sport.
We should be doing everything we can to make everyone feel welcome in the sport that we love. We need to be more inclusive than every other sport!
We have such a great lacrosse community in Europe. As fiercely as teams battle it out on the pitch, the camaraderie that can be seen off the pitch is what I want everyone to be able to experience, regardless of the colour of their skin, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, gender identity, language, culture or background.
I’d like to think all the teammates I’ve had who identify as LGBTQ have had the same joyful experience of lacrosse as I’ve had (disclosure- I’m an educated, cis, white woman who grew up in in the western world so I’ve got a fair amount of privilege), and I think in most teams where I’ve played, that holds true. But I know others who haven’t had such a great experience of lacrosse and that’s what we’re trying to change.
ELF sits in a strange position in terms of governance and what we can and can’t change. Our European Championships are qualifying events for the World Championships, so eligibility for those is out of our hands. And we don’t run any clubs or teams, so we can’t directly regulate what happens on individual teams. But we can set an example by writing an Inclusion Policy that encourages all 32 of our national governing bodies to try harder and do more to be more inclusive, which is exactly what we’re doing with our friends at Stonewall UK.
We can put in all the fancy terminology, but it ultimately comes down to being friendly and making people feel as comfortable as possible on and off the field. We’d love to hear from you what we can do to make lacrosse a better sport for everyone, so please get in touch with
ideas on how we can improve.
You can contact the European Lacrosse federation via:
Steph Migchelsen has been the President of European Lacrosse for 6 years and works in infectious disease and sexual health in London (and is an avid 🌈🦖 fan)