US Lacrosse is accepting applications for its National Diversity Grant Program, which provides resources to local groups and organizations to support projects and events that promote lacrosse opportunities among non-traditional participants.

Created in 2014, the NDGP offers six different grant categories:  Girls’ Initiative, Urban Outreach, Community Impact, Event Support, Disability Access, and BRIDGE. Last year, US Lacrosse awarded 44 grants in support of local organizations, totaling over $88,000. 

The application and a fuller explanation of each grant are available online.  

Applications in this cycle will be accepted through September 1, 2018. All grant applicants will be notified of their status upon review.

“We’re excited to continue offering these grant opportunities to assist qualifying organizations across the country in making a greater impact for diversity in our sport,” said Eboni Preston-Laurent, senior manager for diversity and inclusion at US Lacrosse. “Connecting people that are traditionally outside the lacrosse community is a primary focus for our diversity and inclusion efforts.”

LA Thunderbirds, a non-profit that uses lacrosse to help make a positive impact in the lives of at-risk youth, received a US Lacrosse diversity grant in 2017. Founder Steve Sedano explains how the organization strategically leveraged the grant to benefit both its participants and the growth of the game.

“We decided to invest the money into equipment. We were in need of sticks and goals,” Sedano said. “We specifically bought Thompson Brothers lacrosse sticks because we take the Native American aspect of lacrosse seriously and wanted to do our best to support TBL.”

For Sedano’s program, the lessons extend beyond the playing field.

“When we bought our goals, we decided to direct the funds to Gladiator Lacrosse. We decided to purchase from them because it was founded by a young woman, Rachel Ziertz, who we feel is someone our student-athletes can look up to. We are actually trying to arrange for her to come to Los Angeles so she can talk to our kids about being a business woman.” 

Similarly, Highbridge Green School in New York City received a grant in 2017 and uses the funds to provide opportunities to students that might otherwise not be available.

“The grant helped us in a variety of ways. Our team is located in the South Bronx, which is the most underserved district in the U.S. We have an extreme lack of resources, so this grant made playing competitive lacrosse a lot more accessible,” said Highbridge coach Dan Leventhal. 

A portion of the grant is used to cover the basic costs of participation.

“It helped pay our league referee fees and also went towards transportation to and from games for both our boys’ and girls’ teams,” Leventhal said. “Just to be a part of the NYC Middle School league is very expensive so this grant helped level the playing field so our kids got the same opportunities as others.”

National Diversity Grant Program

The National Diversity Grant Program provides funding to qualified organizations that initiate or continue programs that promote lacrosse participation and education.

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