The magnetic energy of 22 international teams and nearly 600 top athletes in a parade of colours, singing songs and chanting, captivated spectators at Trent’s Justin Chiu Stadium on July 31 as the University hosted the opening ceremonies of the Women’s Lacrosse U19 World Championships. There was an unmistakable sense of camaraderie amongst the teams as they came together to celebrate the occasion before launching competition here in Peterborough, Canada’s lacrosse capital.
Welcoming the teams to the games were a number of local dignitaries (many of whom are also Trent University alumni) including Curve Lake First Nation Chief Emily Whetung ‘03; federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality MP Maryam Monsef ‘03, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith ‘91 and Mayor Diane Therrien ’10.
“As an institution that aims to nurture the talent of individuals from all around the world, we are excited to bring this tournament to our campus and play a role in supporting the achievements of today’s youth and young athletes,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University, as he welcomed spectators, families, coaches and athletes to campus.
The ceremonies also paid homage to the Indigenous roots of the sport, with a welcome blessing, drummers and dancers from Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations and a smudging of tournament athletes and officials.
“It is meaningful to see that Indigenous heritage celebrated here this evening,” noted President Groarke. “As the first university in Canada to establish an academic department dedicated to the study of Indigenous knowledges, we recognize the important traditional history of the sport of lacrosse and its impact across generations.”
The tournament takes place from August 1 – 10 at Trent University and Fleming College, with options for both those wanting to cheer along field-side, as well as around the world through the live stream. This will be the most widely broadcasted world championship in the history of women’s lacrosse with games being live-streamed online through the Lax Sports Network at laxsn.com.