Colombia Lacrosse have recently announced their squad for their inaugural appearance at 2017 Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.
The nation made their first appearance on the female international stage at the 2015 Under 19 World Championships, recording a 12th place finish with victories over South Korea and Israel.
They will now make their first introductions at senior level and will flag the fly for the whole of South America as the first team from the continent to compete in a Women’s World Cup.
And after the experiences of 2015, Team Manager, Mo Dunnigan, believes the team can achieve even greater things in 2017.
“The Under 19 team did amazing things in the short amount of time we had and now many have continued through the programme and are ready for the challenge of a World Cup”.
Lacrosse in Colombia is continuing to grow and the set up of the game in the country is being geared towards growing the game through the whole of the country.
Dunnigan commented: “Colombia Lacrosse has grown through authentic grassroots efforts to give young women the chance to give the sport a try.
“We have teams in three regions around the country that train and compete together and then Colombia Lacrosse organises tournaments throughout the year to bring these regions together aimed at improving the game countrywide”.
Colombia’s development is also being aided through the appointment of their Head Coach for who has previous experience working with fledgling programmes.
Peri West, currently Head Coach at Thomas College, Maine, in the US, has already started two college lacrosse programmes from scratch at Mount Ida College, MA and Hendrix College, AR and is well versed in being an ambassador for growing programmes.
West picked up a message through the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Association (IWLCA) that Colombia were looking for coaches available to travel and coach the team going forward to the World Cup.
“I sent an email to the Team Manager, had a few skype interviews with some of the organisers and players and the next thing I knew I was travelling to Bogota for the first training session during the summer of 2016!”
West then returned in January this year for the second training session in Medellin and to finalise the Colombian’s roster.
“It has been a wonderful experience. The team works so hard, are so proud of their country and understand how significant playing in the World Cup is not only for the team but for Colombia and being ambassadors of the game there.”
While the focus is on the World Cup, West is also excited to be returning to England, where her coaching career began, working at Westonbirt School back in 2004.
“I had a great experience there as well. What I saw in England is similar to what I see in Colombia, which is a light in the eyes of the players and so many smiles, as they are introduced to this great game”.
“I haven’t been back since 2004 and the World Cup site is only 90 minutes from where I was so I am hoping to see some friends I made while I was there.”
Colombia will take on New Zealand, Ireland and Sweden in World Cup Pool Play and will play by their team motto throughout the competition of ‘Si se puede’ or ‘Yes we can’!
Colombia Lacrosse 2017 Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup Roster