Off the Crossebar Podcast with Ryan Baker: The fastest game on two wheels, wheelchair lacrosse could be coming to a city near you
Imagine not being able to play lacrosse. Not because you lost your pads, stick, or you don’t have a team in your area. But because you are a paraplegic. Known as the fastest game on two feet, having the use of your legs is a very logical and integral part of playing lacrosse. Well, a group of athletes in the United States has not let the inability to run stop them from playing the game we all love.
The boys over at wheelchair lacrosse, are starting a movement, it’s gaining momentum and with four teams established in the U.S., they’ve already made some amazing and progressive steps to growing wheelchair lax into anther popular and fast growing version, with plans to get even bigger. Ryan Baker joins me this week to talk about the inception of the game, how he got started and even talks about playing against some of the game’s best players, on their turf.
It’s an inspiring and cool story about how these guys are doing their part to grow the game and help spread the word about wheelchair lacrosse, all right here on the OTCB Podcast.
While it’s still in its infancy, wheelchair lacrosse has already traveled the continent and gained some great exposure but if you haven’t heard about the newest form of lax, don’t be ashamed. I hadn’t heard about it until late last year when it showed up on my Twitter feed. But after checking their website and seeing some of their videos, I knew it was something that we all needed to get behind and support. It didn’t take long for the NLL and some CLA teams to get involved.
“These guy are such great lacrosse players that once they got the ball in their stick, it was hard to get it away from them but seeing them struggle with maneuvering the wheelchair evened out the playing field,” chuckled Baker, who is one of the main guys behind Wheelchair Lacrosse. So far the they’ve had a couple of opportunities to play against some of the top indoor players in the world. One game against some NLL pros including Dan Dawson, Dan Teat and Shawn Williams and then another game where they played a group of lacrosse players from Six Nations Arrows Jr A lacrosse team.
With four teams based in four different U.S. cities, the game has a strong foundation and they have plans to add more with more players and hope to see the game played at a World Championships level. But they obviously need more players to join. Having a lacrosse background is not essential. Baker was as wheelchair tennis player before he was introduced to lacrosse and has been hooked ever since. Other players came from rugby, basketball, track and field wheelchair sports and had never picked up a lacrosse stick. While some have played lacrosse before but are now recently restricted to the chair and are getting involved.
The boys over at Wheelchair Lacrosse have a bright future ahead of them and any and all help would be greatly appreciated as they could always use donated equipment and sticks.
From the fastest game on two feet, to the fastest game on two wheels, the game of lacrosse continues to be the best sport in the world for anyone and everyone.
This week’s podcast is one that we are thrilled to bring you and hope to hear more from the boys at Wheelchair Lacrosse in the future; so enjoy this week’s Off the Crossebar Podcast with Ryan Baker from Wheelchairlacrosse.comTeddy Jenner is one the leading sources for lacrosse information. He comes by his love of lax honestly with a lifetime of experience, two Mann Cup championships and six years of play in the NLL. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter @OffTheCrosseBar or catch him on Team 1410 radio in Vancouver, B.C., as the host and producer of the Off the Crosse-Bar Radio Show In 2012, he was awarded the BCLA's Norm Wright Merit Award- handed out to a member of the media deemed to have have contributed to the promotion of lacrosse.
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