Since its inception, the goal of the PG Pride Lacrosse Club, based in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., has been to accommodate all boys and girls who wish to play the game. 

Through scholarship assistance for registration and equipment loaners for first and second year players, the club has steadfastly refused to allow costs to become an obstacle to participation. 

Serving youth from ages five to 15, the non-profit organization offers both spring and fall lacrosse programs as well as winter clinics. The goal is to introduce the game to those who have never seen it and provide playing opportunities for those who wish to continue with it. 

“If there is a kid in our region who wants to play lacrosse, they have a place to come,” said Bruce Lancaster, a board member and program administrator for the PG Pride.

The recent growth of the organization is proof that its open-door philosophy is working.

Originally launched in College Park, in the shadows of the University of Maryland’s championship program, PG Pride has now expanded its boys’ program to eight locations throughout Prince George’s County. A similar evolution of the girls’ league is also planned.

In recent years, the club has leveraged partnerships with local boys’ and girls’ clubs as well as with the parks commission to host clinics and share facilities. A diversity grant from US Lacrosse also supports the core mission.

“The support we got from US Lacrosse was essential in helping us to grow,” Lancaster said. “The seeds that were planted are coming to fruition.”

All coaches in the program attend US Lacrosse Coach Development Program clinics, while the club has also committed to using USL’s recommended small-sided (LADM) format across all age levels.

“Following that model is really working for us. Our players are very receptive to the 7v7 and 4v4 games, and its clearly benefitting them,” Lancaster said. “We believe in it.”

In its continued efforts to grow the game, US Lacrosse is now 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.  

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

Applications in this cycle will be accepted through September 15, 2019. 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.”

Over the past five years, the NDGP has provided almost $300,000 in funding support to local organizations and impacted nearly 35,000 participants. Over 500 of those boys and girls are part of the PG Pride.

“US Lacrosse has been an essential for us,” Lancaster said. “I know that they will walk hand-in-hand with other programs, just as they have with us, to spread the game. They have been an incredible partner.”

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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