For nine days in August, George Washington assistant lacrosse coach Kristy Black traveled to Kingston, Jamaica with Fields of Growth International to teach children the game of lacrosse.
Fields of Growth is a non-profit organization that aims to harness the passion of the lacrosse community into positive social impact through global leadership development, service and growing the game. From Aug. 1-9 Black dedicated her time to make a positive impact on children's lives through the game of lacrosse, and in turn received a life-changing experience.
"The most important aspects of lacrosse are the ways it teaches children to be disciplined, to be hard workers, to understand the concept of team play and to create opportunities," said Black. "It is a wonderful way to get children involved in activities outside of their neighborhoods and give them hope for something bigger and better in their future."
Each day Black, along with fellow Fields of Growth volunteers, ran clinics from The morning clinics focused on younger children, while the older kids participated in the afternoon sessions. Following the clinic each day, the group took time to participate in cultural activities such as handing out care packages to elders, attending a barbecue with local families and touring the village of St. Ann's - the home and community where famed musician Bob Marley grew up.
"We went to villages to spread lacrosse and love, and by the end of the trip we had the entire community in a field playing lacrosse, soccer and cricket," Black said. "There was even an older gentleman playing a banjo. Everyone was so happy and did not stop smiling."
Black found that while she accomplished her goal of making an impact on the children of Kingston through lacrosse, she learned equally valuable lessons as well.
"I went to Jamaica to make an impact on the children's lives, but they taught me just as much, if not more," said Black. "They showed me not to take anything for granted and that the little things are what truly matter in life. It was amazing to see how bringing lacrosse, along with a positive and upbeat attitude, can delight an entire village."