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Local lacrosse player representing Canada at U16

Eric Clarke, number 10, playing lacrosse. Christine Clarke photo

Nicholas L. M. Allen

May 29, 2024

A dedicated and talented lacrosse player from Crowsnest Pass, is set to make history this year.

Eric Clarke has been invited to play for the U16 Canada team at the IIJL World U16 Box Lacrosse Championships, marking the first time a U16 team from Canada will compete in this prestigious event. The team is aiming for gold, and Clarke couldn’t be more thrilled.

The journey leading up to this monumental achievement has been one of hard work, perseverance, and passion for the sport. From a young age, Clarke’s development in lacrosse has been driven by a desire to improve while ensuring the sport remains enjoyable for him. 

His first significant step was moving from the Crowsnest Pass team to the Lethbridge team. This transition was crucial for his growth, exposing him to higher levels of competition.

Clarke’s next milestone was joining the SALA Sting, which gave him his first taste of “A” level lacrosse. His talent continued to flourish as he made the Indigenous Team Alberta, representing the province in Nova Scotia last summer. 

This year, Clarke advanced to the High River HOKS, a full-time “A” lacrosse select team, which has significantly enhanced his skills. His hard work and dedication culminated in an invitation to join 21 other players from across Canada at the IIJL World U16 Box Lacrosse Championships.

However, reaching this level has not been without its challenges. The most significant hurdle has been the financial burden. Southern Alberta lacks a full-time “A” lacrosse team, necessitating frequent trips to Calgary for practices and games with the CDLA. 

On average, the family makes four or more trips to Calgary each week to support Clarke’s commitment. The cost to travel to Utica, NY, to represent Canada is estimated to exceed $8,000, not including expenses for other teams he plays for. Consequently, Eric Clarke is seeking sponsorship to help achieve his goals of playing at the highest levels.

Clarke’s parents expressed immense pride in their son’s dedication and progress in lacrosse. 

“We are most proud of Eric’s dedication and progress with the sport of lacrosse. From hours of practice on the front lawn to the hours of travel he puts in every week while maintaining his schooling. Eric dreams of the possibility of playing in the Olympics one day and the possibility of playing in the NLL professionally,” said Clarke’s parents.

Clarke’s commitment to lacrosse over the past decade has been unwavering. He wishes to acknowledge all his coaches, whose guidance and encouragement have been instrumental in his development. 

“Coaches, each and every one of you, take a moment and pat your backs. Your training, skills, words of encouragement from being that undersized little four-year-old to the player I am today would never have been possible without your commitment to see my personal growth and development. Sirs, I applaud you all,” said Clarke.

Clarke’s journey is a testament to his dedication and passion for lacrosse. 

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