TORONTO, ONTARIO – The China Lacrosse Association (CLA) has received full membership status in the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL). According to President, Stan Cockerton, the FIL board of directors voted unanimously to approve China’s move to full status.
“The work being done in China to grow the game there has been outstanding … China Lacrosse made this an easy decision for the board.”
—Stan Cockerton, FIL President
“The work being done in China to grow the game there has been outstanding,” said Cockerton. “They competed in the 2014 Men’s Worlds in Denver, and just recently had an excellent showing at the Men’s U19’s in Coquitlam, BC. China Lacrosse made this an easy decision for the board.”
“We are very pleased to be a full member of FIL … to be able to contribute more to the FIL’s quest to get lacrosse back into the Olympics.”
—Raymond Pan, CLA Director of Finance
According to Raymond Pan, CLA Director of Finance, “We are very pleased to be a full member of FIL. This recognition will greatly enhance China Lacrosse’s efforts with local and provincial governments – and other stakeholders – to grow the sport outside of Shanghai and Beijing.” Pan continued, “We’re also excited to have a voting seat at the table for general assembly and postal votes allowing the CLA to be more involved with FIL decisions. It also puts us in a position to be able to contribute more to the FIL’s quest to get lacrosse back into the Olympics.”
2014 FIL Men’s Lacrosse World Championship
14-July-2014, Denver, Colorado, USA — #28 Mike Tsiang wins a face-off vs. Argentina’s Christopher Gogolin #29 of day 5 of the 2014 FIL Men’s World Championship. Tsiang won 14-19 face-offs on the day as China edged the Argentinians 9-7. Photo: CLA
China Lacrosse’s world championship appearances began at the 2014 FIL Men’s Lacrosse World Championships in Denver, Colorado, where they defeated Uganda, another world championship newcomer, 14-7 to finish in 33rd place out of 38 teams with an overall record of 3-4.
2016 FIL U19 Men’s Lacrosse World Championship
8-July-2016, Coquitlam, BC — #3 Eric Wang (6G, 1A) prepares to deliver a shot of goal as #2 Kurtis Shum (3G, 2A) provides support. China defeated Mexico 15-3 at the 2016 FIL U19 Men’s Lacrosse World Championship. It was the inaugural U19 world championship game for both squads. Photo: CLA
China Lacrosse’s next international tournament experience came this past July at the 2016 FIL U19 Men’s Lacrosse World Championship in Coquitlam, BC. Learning from their previous international event, the CLA brought a talented, aggressive group of young men who were very competitive and earned a well-deserved 5-2 record overall. China’s U19 squad defeated Scotland, 15-9, to finish in 9th place out of 14 teams.
See related Article: “China’s U19 Men Came Together as a Team in Coquitlam”
In fact, over the past five years, China has been working on its game at all levels competing in numerous regional and international events, including:
China Lacrosse has a very busy upcoming schedule of events that include:
Plans for CLA’s Future
Organizational membership and player growth
China Lacrosse plans to focus both on geographical growth as well as vertical growth within their Shanghai/Beijing footprint. Their targets are more new cities playing lacrosse, more schools playing lacrosse in current CLA cities and more sticks in more kids hands with programs in place to train them.
Similar to what the Hong Kong Lacrosse Association is doing, China Lacrosse will work development at both the junior and high-performance coach levels. According to Raymond Pan, “We need to develop and train more coaches to help us grow the sport within the world’s largest population base.”
China Lacrosse plans to train more local referees/umpires to officiate in cross-cities tournaments as well as in local city leagues.
China Lacrosse’s move to full FIL member status did not happen overnight. A lot of hard work from a dedicated core staff of people made it happen.
Some significant players in the rapid development of lacrosse in China:
Mike Elefante, previous CLA Director of Development
Elefante relocated to Shanghai in 2008 where he began coaching lacrosse at various Chinese universities, training hundreds of Chinese players. He was the first member of the China Lacrosse Association and served as head coach for China’s Men’s National Team in the 2012 Shanghai Cup, 2013 ASPAC Tournament, 2014 Hong Kong Open, 2014 FIL Men’s Lacrosse World Championship and the 2015 Hong Kong Open. Elefante organized Shanghai Lacrosse, helped establish Beijing Lacrosse and Beijing Youth. He initiated youth lacrosse in Shanghai. CLA warmly refers to Mike Elefante as “the ambassador of China Lacrosse.”
Barton Wheeler, CLA Co- Director of PR
Wheeler has coached lacrosse in China since 2014. He has coached China’s men’s national teams in the 2014 Hong Kong Open, 2014 FIL Men’s Lacrosse World Championship, 2015 Hong Kong Open and 2016 FIL U19 Men’s Lacrosse World Championship. Wheeler worked with Mike Elefante to draft the constitution of China Lacrosse. Wheeler, along with Hualing Yu, performs Public Relations duties for the CLA.
Ariel Luo, CLA Director of Development
Luo, who has coached the women’s lacrosse team at Shanghai University since 2015, took over the role of Director of Development from Mike Elefante in 2016. She has done an outstanding job in helping Shanghai University of Finance and Economics become a member of the CLA and has five other programs in on-going membership development.
Morgan Banaszek, CLA Director of Women’s Lacrosse
Banaszek has coached China’s women’s national team from beginning of 2016 and will be taking a stronger team into the next Hong Kong Open. She just completed running tryouts for China’s women’s national team. The senior women’s team will play for the first time on the world championship stage when it travels to Guildford, England for the 2017 FIL/Rathbones Women’s Word Cup in July of 2017. Banaszek also organized the first CLA general assembly meetings (EGM) in January 2016.
Hualing Yu, CLA Public Relations
Yu co-organized the first women lacrosse league in 2014. She has captained China Lacrosse’s women’s national team since 2015 and organized the team for the 2013 ASPAC Tournament, 2014 Hong Kong Open, 2015 Hong Kong Open and 2016 Greater China Cup (GCC). Yu co-led the launch of media platforms for China Lacrosse in 2015.
Ziyan Zeng, Media Manager
Zeng has performed the role of Media Manager since 2015, organizing several very successful events on Facebook and Instagram. He has led China’s U19 men’s lacrosse organizing committee since the fall of 2015 and has done a phenomenal providing logistics for the squad’s participation in the 2016 FIL U19 Men’s Lacrosse World Championship in Coquitlam, BC. Zeng was also a coach for the U19 Men’s team that played excellently in Coquitlam, finishing 9th in their first appearance on the U19 world stage.
Raymond Pan, CLA Director of Finance
Pan has been the manager of the China men’s team since 2014 and has been with the team for the 2014 Hong Kong Open, 2014 FIL Men’s Lacrosse World Championship, 2015 Hong Kong Open, 2016 Greater China Cup and the 2016 FIL U19 Men’s Lacrosse World Championship. He co-organized the CLA’s first GCC in January of 2016 with Hualing Yu. Pan’s financial duties have included assisting the CLA in becoming a FIL recognized full member national governing body (NGB) through proper management and transparent disclosure of financial information.
For more information contact Raymond Pan at email@example.com
China Lacrosse Media Outlets
About the CLA
The China Lacrosse Association is a committee of dedicated coaches, passionate players, and supporters of the game of Lacrosse. As a developing program within the Federation of International Lacrosse, the China Lacrosse Association will aim to play and host international tournaments, to build friendly relationships with neighboring countries, and, foremost, to teach and support the development of Lacrosse in China.
About the FIL
The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) is the international governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse. The FIL currently has 55 member nations and holds five World Championships (women’s and men’s field, women’s and men’s U19 field and men’s indoor.) The FIL is responsible for the governance and integrity of all forms of lacrosse and provides responsive and effective leadership to support the sports’ development throughout the world.