Oakland Lacrosse Club, Oakland Athletic League, and OUSD Partner to Build an Eight-School Varsity Girls Lacrosse League
Oakland – The Oakland Lacrosse Club, the Oakland Athletic League, and OUSD are dramatically expanding access to the oldest sport in North America, while directly benefiting high school girls, and enhancing the District’s work toward fully addressing Title IX sports access for girls. Until this year, the District had one varsity girls lacrosse team – at Oakland Technical High School. Then, in the 2021 spring season, in partnership with Oakland Lacrosse Club, OUSD added teams at Oakland High and Skyline High. Over the next two years, five new programs will be added at Castlemont High, Coliseum College Prep, Fremont High, Madison Park Academy, and McClymonds High. The establishment of this eight-team lacrosse league will provide an additional 175 girls with the opportunity to play varsity sports in Oakland public schools.
Oakland Lacrosse will fund start-up costs for each high school program, including equipment and uniforms. Oakland Lacrosse coaches will be on campuses year-round, not just supporting the teams in the spring, but also leading introductory lacrosse clinics through PE classes and after-school programs. The coaches will also connect players to leadership opportunities, academic counseling, and wellness workshops offered by the Oakland Lacrosse Club. Along with administering the league, the Oakland Athletic league will promote lacrosse at middle school sports fairs and allocate space for introductory clinics.
“We are profoundly grateful for our partnership with Oakland Lacrosse. This is a true example of how the community can come together to support more opportunities for our youth, especially girls in Oakland,” said Franky Navarro, Commissioner of the Oakland Athletic League. “In my first few weeks as OAL Commissioner in 2019, I visited school sites and talked to students. One of the questions students asked me was, ‘Are we going to have a girls lacrosse league?’ It is critical to include the voices of our students in the work that we do. So I am excited about the future for our girls in Oakland and look forward to the expansion of our girls lacrosse league.”
“This is as much of a launching point for the Girls High School CIF teams as it is the culmination of almost a decade’s worth of work in the community that started at the middle school level to recruit and retain young female athletes,” said Allison Allouche, Oakland Lacrosse Club Program Director. “It couldn’t have happened without the tireless efforts of our coaches, staff, and community partners in schools that supported our work and didn’t take no for an answer to make sure this happened for our girls. Likewise, we wouldn’t be here today without the dozens of young women who pioneered our first teams. We look forward to many more amazing firsts in the coming years.”
As the District safely resumed sports this spring, the new girls league began with Oakland Tech, Oakland High, and Skyline High all having teams for the inaugural OAL Girls Lacrosse season. In fall 2021, girls lacrosse will launch at Castlemont, with the additional high school programs phased in by spring 2023. Most importantly, this initiative affords hundreds of girls in OUSD a space to connect, compete and develop their leadership skills, with a community of peers, coaches, and educators that will support them in realizing their limitless potential.
“The girls of Oakland want and deserve the same access to interscholastic sports that the boys have, and we are providing it for them,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “Lacrosse is a sport that many of our students are unfamiliar with, so we are excited to bring it to them – especially considering its centuries-long history in North America. All that the Oakland Lacrosse Club and the Oakland Athletic League will do to give our girls the opportunity to play, along with the support in leadership and academics, will serve students well on the field, in the classroom, and in life. I thank Oakland Lacrosse for leading this remarkable effort.”
The OUSD/OAL Varsity Girls Lacrosse League play opened on Saturday, April 17 with Oakland Tech playing Skyline. In this modified season each school will play a four game schedule. The next game is set for Saturday, May 8 with Oakland Tech visiting Oakland High at 1:00 p.m. To learn more about Oakland Lacrosse and to support the program, please visit http://oaklandlacrosse.org/.
Post based on press release from OUSD to ZENNIE62MEDIA.
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