This statement was been issued on behalf of the BELC and BMLA following the announcement that lacrosse will be excluded from the 2025 Canada Summer Games.
Lacrosse was being played on this land long before it was discovered by Europeans. “Canada” was not even a thought in anyone’s mind. When Europeans did arrive, the indigenous people shared their creator’s game and it became so ingrained in the colonies’ culture that since 1859 it has been recognized as Canada’s national summer sport. At every level of the sport, from minor right up to world championships, many of the most dominant stars come from our own backyard. This is why it is so upsetting to the lacrosse community to receive news that lacrosse has once again been cut out of the Canada Summer Games scheduled for 2025.
That it was ever removed from this nation-wide celebration of sports in the first place, and allowed to remain absent for so long, should be a stain on our national pride. However, after the fantastic showing at this year’s games, to have it once again removed is not only disheartening, but insulting. This is sending a clear message to the thousands of young athletes across the country who play lacrosse that the Canada Games Council does not care about them. This is especially insulting to the Indigenous communities, an already marginalized group who are not even allowed to represent themselves at the games, whose cultures are deeply rooted around the sport and all it means.
Many of the players who are now missing out on an opportunity will go on to proudly represent either Canada or Haudenosaunee in world championships, in the NLL, in the PLL, and in one of Canada’s most Prestigious Championships, the Mann Cup. For an organization supported by federal funding, to tell the athletes playing our national summer sport that they don’t deserve to stand alongside so many other sports, is simply wrong.
The Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club and Brampton Minor Lacrosse Association are calling on the Canada Games Council, Brampton’s MPs, and the Honourable Pascale St-Onge to reconsider this decision and ensure that our National Sport has the representation it deserves in the Canada Summer Games.
Yours in lacrosse,
-Glenn McClelland, BELC President
-Chris Lowe, BMLA President