Advertisement

IDC Sisters Pursuing Lacrosse Dream for Team Manitoba

Share:

Lacrosse Sisters Crop1
Sidney and Emma Green. Sara Beth Dacombe

In August, two sisters from Île-des-Chênes will represent Manitoba at the Canada Summer Games, competing for the province’s female box lacrosse team. It will be the sport’s first-ever competition at the Summer Games.

Sidney and Emma Green, 15 and 17, will travel to Toronto from August 6–21 for the Games. This is their first year playing the sport, and Emma has been appointed assistant captain of the provincial team.

The two sisters live with their family in Île-des-Chênes, attend high school in Lorette, and practice lacrosse in various recreation spaces from Garson to Winnipeg, including the Notre Dame Arena twice a week. They keep an ambitious schedule with the support of their parents.

“We’re always busy,” says Emma. “We have a big family and they all do sports as well. We’re always doing something.”

With seven children in the family, their mom says handling everyone’s schedules can be “a little nutty some days.” But they make it work.

“Over the years, most of our days have been spent driving our children, and sometimes their teammates, to sports after school, evenings, and weekends to cheer them on in arenas, basketball courts, and soccer fields,” says Kristy Green. “It has been such a fun experience for all of us so far. A lot of coffee has also helped and we always pack snacks for everyone.”

The girls are strong overall athletes and have been playing team sports all their lives. Together, they’ve competed in basketball, soccer, gymnastics, hockey, and ringette. Both say they can’t get enough of sports and have always felt driven to pursue new sports when one no longer holds their interest.

“We only played ringette for a little while before switching to hockey, because ringette was not enough,” says Sidney, who says she loves lacrosse more than Emma, though they argue about it. “We both love sports and have always needed something more and more challenging.”

The sisters have played together most of their lives, but while advancing through various age categories they have found themselves occasionally playing on different teams—or even competing against each other.

Besides transportation logistics just being easier to arrange, the girls prefer to play together because of their dynamic.

“It’s just a lot more fun to play with players who always have your back and you never have to wonder,” says Emma. “And it’s even better that that player is my sister.”

The sisters say they’ve experienced a sibling connection when they play, so they sometimes are able to anticipate each other’s moves.

“I know when she’s going to score,” says Sidney.

“And I know when she’s going to get that penalty,” says Emma.

The interpersonal dynamic is something both sisters say attracted them to lacrosse. Sidney calls it the “fastest sport on two feet,” not just because of the athleticism, but because of the teamwork required and mental agility in decision-making.

Sidney says that lacrosse is more like basketball than field hockey, but you play with more equipment than basketball. You have a long stick with a pocket on one end of it and players typically wear kidney guards, chest protector, bicep guards, arm guard, helmet, mouthguards, and proper shoes.

Sidney describes the plays as being very close to basketball in the positions and plays like setups and picks, but Emma says there are similarities to hockey because you carry and use a stick to put the ball in a net.

“So I guess it feels like a mixture of a lot of sports, which is maybe why we love it so much,” says Emma.

“There are five players out at a time, like basketball, and you can set picks, like basketball,” says Sidney. “But you can also hit, like in hockey. You can bodycheck.”

Lacrosse is often consider a contact sport and both girls enjoy the physicality of play. But it’s Sidney who comes across as the more aggressive player.

“Oh, I love it,” she says. “In hockey, there is physicality and I enjoyed that part. I do. So it’s kind of the same in lacrosse. You cannot slash, but you can hit the stick and gloves. Unless you’re crosschecking them, almost everything else is allowed.”

Her sister agrees. “It’s a lot rougher than hockey, actually, because you hit a person even more,” says Emma. “In hockey you go for the puck, but in lacrosse you can go for the person’s arm or their sick, to get that ball. You’re allowed.”

Both girls say that they thrive on the level of physical intensity in lacrosse, which some would compare to rugby. Coaches spend time teaching intentionally about physical play and how to use one’s body to contact another player appropriately.

“One rule is, you cannot hit from behind. That’s absolutely major,” says Emma. “Our coaches teach us how to safely hit. You can hit the gloves, you can hit the stick, you can hit the arm. They show us and demonstrate and really stress how to keep our movements controlled.”

The play is encouraged to be competitive, but not malicious.

“It’s hard sometimes, of course,” Emma adds. “We have some players who are more aggressive than others and it’s hard to maintain that aggression within competition, but we are taught. It’s in our training to keep it competitive and we’re here to win, not to hurt people. We don’t want to hurt people.”

The energy of play and ability to be aggressive is also mentally stimulating, they both agree.

“I love the gameplay,” says Sidney. “I loved basketball first, and then I found lacrosse and I realized that I like the strategies and how they crossed over. Working as a team and setting the pick, it just excites you. It makes your brain work. You never stop moving. You never stop thinking… I have ADHD, so it’s a good sport for me… It helps me because it calms me down and all my restless energy is gone by the end of the night.”

Talking about the benefits of sport brings out another passionate side for the girls, who are strong advocates for girls athletics in general, and specifically box lacrosse, because it’s a relatively new sport in Manitoba.

With the help of their coach, they have been volunteering their time at community fairs and other events.

“We went to Lorette Family Fun Days and a Girl Guide Jamboree where we set up a table and a lacrosse station and talk to people about lacrosse, maybe showing them a few drills,” says Sidney. “We love telling people about the sport. Our mom comes with us and talks to the parents about the commitment.”

“Especially for girls, they don’t know about it,” Emma adds. “Lacrosse is more popular with guys than it is for girls. Like, going to camps and clinics is more accessible to guys… We are helping to set it up at more facilities and show that girls can join in the sport.”

Both sisters acknowledge the gender disparity when it comes to opportunities in sport, as well as support for staying in sport long-term.

“I think girls lose a lot of interest a lot more quickly after high school,” says Emma. “I know many, many girls in high school that played a lot of sports and then they get older and they don’t play anymore, but guys do. They say they just don’t have the motivation, but I think that comes from the people around you encouraging you to stay active and staying active with you. We have our parents, and if we didn’t have our parents motivating us, it would be harder to have that motivation and reward in our lives.”

Part of what could keep girls in sports longer is having more opportunities in leagues that already operate. But it has to start somewhere.

“There’s a responsibility we already have to the younger girls,” Emma continues. “We as older girls are stressing to the younger girls how important it is to play sports and how fun it is. We just want to help them to keep their interest in it, because it’s there.”

Neither of the girls seems to struggle with focus. In fact, Emma sees herself making Team Canada and going to the Olympics for lacrosse. Sidney will have one more opportunity to play in the 2025 Canada Games.

Both girls say they would like to travel, but it’s the sport they are pursuing—not opportunities to leave rural Manitoba too soon.

Mom Kristy has no reservations about continuing to offer as much support as is needed to help her daughters achieve their dreams.

“We hope it takes them as far as they want to go with the sport,” says Kristy. “They have both set their goals very high and we will always be supportive of them. We are our kids’ number one fans and always will be. They make us proud every day.”

Advertisement
More SPORTS & RECREATION

Owen Pickering Drafted in First Round by Penguins

Last Thursday, St. Adolphe’s Owen Pickering was a first round draft pick (twenty-first overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal. It was a dream come true for...

Read more

Last Thursday, St. Adolphe’s Owen Pickering was a first round draft pick (twenty-first overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal. It was a dream come true for...

Read more

Soccer Squad Overcomes Absences to Claim Bronze

The Niverville U11 Gladiators soccer team came away from a recent tournament with a bronze medal, despite not having one of their coaches in attendance. The Gladiators play in the Eastman Youth...

Read more

The Niverville U11 Gladiators soccer team came away from a recent tournament with a bronze medal, despite not having one of their coaches in attendance. The Gladiators play in the Eastman Youth...

Read more
Advertisement

Torque Brewing Teams Up with Nighthawks

Last week, it was announced that the Niverville Nighthawks would partner up with Torque Brewing to create a unique lager beer for the team’s inaugural season. Torque Brewing is about to...

Read more

Last week, it was announced that the Niverville Nighthawks would partner up with Torque Brewing to create a unique lager beer for the team’s inaugural season. Torque Brewing is about to...

Read more

Don Dulder Named to Volleyball Manitoba Hall of Fame

On June 12, Volleyball Manitoba recognized the lifetime achievements of Don Dulder, head coach of the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers volleyball team and former Phys Ed teacher and...

Read more

On June 12, Volleyball Manitoba recognized the lifetime achievements of Don Dulder, head coach of the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers volleyball team and former Phys Ed teacher and...

Read more
Advertisement

Undefeated Eastman U15 Wildcats Win Big in Regina

In the midst of perfect season, the U15AAA Eastman Wildcats softball team recently attended the President’s Tournament in Saskatoon and came away from the event as champions with four wins and...

Read more

In the midst of perfect season, the U15AAA Eastman Wildcats softball team recently attended the President’s Tournament in Saskatoon and came away from the event as champions with four wins and...

Read more

Nighthawks Add Ten Players at 2022 MJHL Draft

Last weekend, the expansion Niverville Nighthawks added ten new players to their organization at the 2022 MJHL Draft. Holding the fourth overall pick, Niverville selected defenceman Avery...

Read more

Last weekend, the expansion Niverville Nighthawks added ten new players to their organization at the 2022 MJHL Draft. Holding the fourth overall pick, Niverville selected defenceman Avery...

Read more
Advertisement

Niverville Rec Announces Youth and Adult Summer Programs

Adults and youth of Niverville will have no excuse to sit on their backsides during the lazy months of summer. The town’s recreation department has made sure of this by preparing a full line-up of...

Read more

Adults and youth of Niverville will have no excuse to sit on their backsides during the lazy months of summer. The town’s recreation department has made sure of this by preparing a full line-up of...

Read more
Time until next issue
Citizen Poll

Are you satisfied with the level of candidate choice available in your area so far in the 2022 municipal election?

For related articles, see links below.

Town of Niverville

Myron Dyck https://nivervillecitizen.com/...
Jason Alderson https://nivervillecitizen.com/...
Nathan Dueck https://nivervillecitizen.com/...
Meghan Beasant https://nivervillecitizen.com/...
Chris Wiebe https://nivervillecitizen.com/...
Bill Fast https://nivervillecitizen.com/...
John Funk https://nivervillecitizen.com/...

RM of Ritchot

Chris Ewen https://nivervillecitizen.com/...
Ron Mamchuk https://nivervillecitizen.com/...