World Lax: U19 families ready for August Worlds

Hannah Thurston. (Photo courtesy of England Lacrosse)

This summer, Peterborough is not only welcoming 23 international lacrosse teams to the U19 women’s world championships. They are welcoming families.

A family can be a team and a team can be a family. Lacrosse teammates don’t share blood – although it can be spilled on the field – but they share a strong bond. They fight for one another and work towards a common goal. One of the greatest aspects of team sports is the kinship and loyalty that is developed during training, traveling and playing. Every player would agree: their teammates are their family and they’ll be fighting for a gold medal together this Aug. 1 through 10 when Peterborough hosts the 2019 women’s U19 world championships at Trent University and Fleming College. Canada are the defending champions. Find out more at

“I have evolved into a better teammate through our program,” says Emily LaRiviere of Team China. “I’ve learned what it means to play for each other.”

LaRiviere also says that lacrosse turned her into a leader on and off the field.

“It’s more than just a game. It has helped shaped me as a person; to be more compassionate, understanding and supportive. It has opened doors to travel, new friends and high levels of competition.”

For LaRiviere, Team China’s evolvement to family took some time, but for others, lacrosse means an instant bond.

“When someone says ‘lacrosse,’ family is the first thing that comes to mind,” says Hannah Thurston of Team England. “Lacrosse has given me a family beyond my home, beyond my roots and far beyond my borders. My fondest memories of playing lacrosse are my earliest; the first time I picked up a stick as a nervous 11-year-old and learned to catch with girls that I will be friends with for life.”

Team Belgium grew as a family through their training sessions, says player Katrien de Leye.

“It is amazing how our coaches help us become better players but also how much we have grown by trusting and believing in one another,” she explains. “Our coaches really try to use this and never fail to remind us that we never lose: we either win or we learn. We fight for each other on and off the field. Canada, we are ready for you and cannot wait!”