Abi Mitchell – Lacrosse Development in Surrey

Hi Abbie when and how did you get into lacrosse?

I started playing lacrosse at the age of six. My dad played lacrosse and I grew up watching him play in his High School alumni games and he taught me how to play in our backyard! Plus, I am from Baltimore so it’s pretty much expected that you get a lacrosse stick in your hand as soon as possible!
So you’re from the states, when and why did you make your way over to the UK?

I made my way over to Scotland in August 2010 after I graduated from University. I came over on the ELA coaching programme and spent my first year coaching at Glenalmond College, and then three years at Fettes College, both teaching and coaching. I also was the Assistant Coach for the U19 Scotland Women’s Lacrosse team for 5 years and during two World Championships, which was an incredible experience.
What is your main role at English Lacrosse?

My main role is to work to develop lacrosse in all of Surrey. In practice the role is quite varied! Most of the time my job involves introducing lacrosse to schools either through delivering coaching during the school day or through staff CPD sessions. I am also the Lacrosse Sport Organiser for the Surrey Youth Games, which involves liaising with Borough Team Organisers to help them be able to enter a lacrosse team for their borough.

 

How do you engage with the clubs?

I most often engage with the clubs through the Surrey Youth Games. Clubs are an enormous asset for SYG as they have both coaches and players that can help a borough cobble together a lacrosse team. It’s also a link into new local talent for the clubs so they can hopefully continue to grow their membership.

 

Tell us your biggest achievement in your lacrosse career thus far (coaching or playing)

My biggest achievement in my lacrosse coaching career so far was as an Assistant Coach for the Scotland U19’s at the World Championships in Hanover, Germany when the team (ranked 7th) upset 5th ranked Japan.

 

What do you want to achieve through this post?

I would love if there were some new satellite clubs set up in the wake of the Surrey Youth Games. Also, as part of my role I have been tasked with starting a Guildford Lacrosse Club and I would love it if I could keep the momentum going into next year. We have an incredible amount of uptake, particularly for the junior section, and it would be great for all of Surrey I think if it could become a permanent club in the area.
What is it about this role you enjoy the most?

I absolutely love introducing people of all ages to the game of lacrosse and find coaching beginners extremely rewarding. I get to do this a lot in my role though school CPD sessions, coaching satellite clubs and the Guildford Lacrosse Club that I started in January (we have over 70 members)!
How will you be interacting with the Rathbones 2017 world cup?

I cannot wait for the Rathbones World Cup. Although my role isn’t directly linked to 2017 I am very much helping develop lacrosse in and around the local area in preparation for the event, it’s great to see schools and clubs genuinely excited for 2017 and within my role I am really looking to utilise the growing excitement around the event. Having coached at two U19 World Championships, I am excited to see what it’s like from the event side of things