Wednesday 10th: Day 1, Opening Ceremony
Hi All, It was just over a year ago we followed Team England men and women to be crowned European champions (re live here). Since the summer of 2012, a lot has happened in the lacrosse world which has led to our current location of Oshawa in Canada. Before the journey to Oshawa, we were hearing reports of flash floods and crazy weather, aeroplanes having to make emergency landings and delays of eight hours. So when the delayed sign came up for my flight from Manchester I was beginning to worry, luckily it was only an hour. Although, we then missed the take-off slot and had to wait on the runway for another hour before jetting out to Toronto safe and sound. Arriving at the World Cup accommodation site was great, lacrosse is one of those games where you make so many friends from around the world, some you only see every four years! The accommodation for teams (and officials) is split across 2 huge buildings at The University of Durham (more on that in the next couple of days). In the first hour, I managed to bump into the Welsh, Scots, Dutch, US, Canadian, Aussies, German, Irish, Haudenosaunee, Austrian and New Zealand players as well as a number of officials. The atmosphere here is already buzzing with most teams in full swing playing scrimmages to get used to playing in the Oshawa heat. Some teams have played local Canadian teams while others have taken on other national teams.
The first full day was an early start due to the fact that I’m still on UK time (Oshawa is 5 hours behind). After breakfast we headed out to Oshawa Civic Recreational Centre which is the tournament venue. We had a walk around the pitches and checked out the best places for photos and filming. The afternoon was spent with the England u19 team who are playing in the festival competition running alongside the world cup. You can follow their blog (here). The u19’s took on the Blue Knights, the B team fought hard but were beaten by a physical and skillful team. While the A’s managed to come back from four goals down to almost snatch a draw but just ran out of time. The highlight however came on the pitch next door, when the Netherlands were stood up by Korea for a friendly. The England u19 B’s stepped in, even though they had just played a match and now faced an International senior team. It was the Dutch that struck first, but this did not deter the young guns and they came roaring back to score the next goal. With shouts of motivation from Coach Carnegie-Brown, the future stars went on to win convincingly and can take a lot away from the experience of facing a senior international team.
The evening was capped with the Opening Ceremony, which was centred on the cultural links of lacrosse, Oshawa and the Native Americans. Traditional singing and drums were met with dancing as the teams paraded around the field before the Oaths and national anthem was sung before the games were officially opened. Tomorrow will see the first day of competition, with newcomers Hong-Kong facing Japan in the first game of the day, while Team England take on current World Champions USA in the final game of the day (1am GMT)
@englacrosse for tweets, LacrosseTV.