President's Letter May 2013

Dear Centurion,

As I near the end of my tenure of Office as your President I realise that there are still a number of things to be done in order to further the popularity of Lacrosse throughout the United Kingdom, for instance there are still seven Universities where Lacrosse has yet to gain a foothold; although I suppose one could set this number against the thirty three Universities where the Centurions have given start up assistance over the years by providing them with equipment.

Another missing link is the need to organise a supply of Referees to Universities to supervise their mid-week games and supplement the all too few stalwarts who currently volunteer their services. What is needed is a pool of Referees, most of whom will have already retired from business since the games usually take place on Wednesday afternoons, thus ruling out those members still earning a living. If any of our members residing within reasonable distance from a Lacrosse playing University could possibly offer their services it would certainly help our student players, since too many of their games are covered by the students most of whom would much rather be playing themselves. Please contact our Hon. Secretary, Rob Collinge, for further information.

In several places there are Universities who are attempting to form 'Town Teams', in their locality, and the copy of a letter enclosed herewith from our member, Geoffrey Fox, reporting on the activities of Exeter University is a case in point. This is where your Club is taking up the challenge by assisting the students with their development work by supplying equipment. Would that every University had such a lively leadership.

A further area of our activity for many years past has been to collect and collate Lacrosse memorabilia, often from deceased estates and member, Denis Hanks, is the current custodian, but storage is becoming a problem. Therefore we are considering the possibility of recording those items of great historical interest for transmission on the internet where they will be available for all to access. Of course many items such as handbooks and magazines are duplicated, so the South Fixtures Secretary, John Cooper, has collated the majority of the results shown in the publications going back to the 1870s in some cases, and these together with other items of historical interest we hope to form into a digital library and we have received advice from the Bodleian Library in Oxford, which is proving very helpful.

Of course all of our original material will be stored away in secure premises and we are hopeful that the ELA will be able to provide a suitable place and at the same time much of our Lacrosse history will be available for all to use. This will not happen overnight but it is work in progress.

Members may be interested to learn that, due to the atrocious weather conditions in recent winters the South of England Association are looking into the possibility of moving their playing season in an endeavour to avoid the worst of the winter months, but there are no set plans, basically the subject is up for discussion.

Some of our older members will remember that there was once a West of England League, which unfortunately did not restart after the last War, however, it may be that now the number of teams in the West of England is expanding do not be surprised if efforts are made in the not too distant future to revive the Western League. No doubt the Centurions will be able to provide a suitable trophy, but there may be such a trophy just waiting to be rediscovered. Can anyone provide any information on this please? Not such an outlandish question, because the Irish Lacrosse Foundation have recently received knowledge of the whereabouts of at least one of their Trophies which dates back to before the first World War.

I sincerely hope all of our members will endeavour to attend our Annual General Meeting on the 4th of June in order to express their views on how the Club might give further assistance to the development of Lacrosse. May I take this opportunity of thanking all those who have supported our efforts during the past year and also during the time I have been an official of the Club, fifteen years as Hon. Secretary and two years as President.

Yours sincerely,