Belgium is the first team to sign up for the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup (RWLC17). Just days after the official invitations were sent out by Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) the Belgian national team secured its place for what is going to be the largest women’s lacrosse world cup ever.
It is a huge step for the Belgian women’s lacrosse programme which started up in 2011 with two teams competing for the national league. The intervening four years has seen the league expand rapidly to 6 active clubs with several other clubs currently under development. This summer also saw the Belgian National team take part in the European Championships, in Nymburk, Czech Republic, for the first time
Séraphine Aelterman, women’s representative and national team coach at the Belgium Lacrosse Federation, explained “Over the years we’ve developed a number of highly motivated and talented players, 18 of which travelled to compete at the European Championships this summer in Nymburk where we learned a great deal both as individual players and as a team. It was our first major competition and we are looking forward to building on the experiences we gained in Nymburk.
“For us, entering in the 2017 World Cup was a no brainer. We hope to gain more knowledge about our great sport, make new friendships, and have an amazing time,” she said.
Welcoming the first team to enter, Jan Kiddle, Event Director of RWLC17, said; “We are very pleased to welcome the Belgian National team as both the first entry into the RWLC17 and to congratulate them on making it to their first world cup. The women’s world cup has come a long way since six teams in England first contested it in 1982.
“In 2017 we are potentially looking at hosting 30 national teams, with 600 elite athletes in the main competition with a further 80 teams – approximately 1,300 players – playing in the festival running alongside. The event will be, by some margin, the largest elite women’s sporting event in England in 2017.”
She concluded; “We are very excited about welcoming the world of lacrosse to Surrey Sports Park in July 2017, and we are looking forward to creating the biggest and best Women’s Lacrosse World Cup yet.”
2017 FIL Rathbone’s Women’s Lacrosse World Cup
The event will be hosted by English Lacrosse and held in Guildford, Surrey, England, United Kingdom, between 13th July and 22nd July 2017. The playing venue will be Surrey Sports Park (SSP), Richard Meyjes Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7AD. Accommodation will be available next to the sport park. SSP is owned by Surrey University and is one of Europe’s premier sites for sport, health, wellbeing and leisure. This world Class facility was opened in 2010. It hosted Women’s rugby world cup in 2010. The park has also played home to some of the world’s top elite sports teams in rugby, netball, basketball, swimming and badminton. The venue was also selected as an official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Training Base, which saw it host 17 nations for training camps. English Lacrosse has also used the venue for the Rathbones National Schools Lacrosse Championships since 2014 and it is very much the home of women’s lacrosse being used as the training venue of our national women’s team.
Photo Credit: Josef Štěpán
Written by: Giles Clark