Welsh Lacrosse team looking for support for Denver tournament



The Welsh Lacrosse team is looking for financial support for a major tournament in Denver, USA.
Ceri Shaw, of the Americymru website, interviewed athletic trainer Meghan McKay to find out more.
Here is part of the interview.

You can find out more on -

AmeriCymru: Can I first ask you, what is your Welsh background and how did you become involved with the Welsh Lacrosse team?
Meghan McKay: My Maternal Grandfather, John Probert was born and raised in the very small town of Pontblyddyn in Northern Wales, just outside of Mold. To make a long story short, he relocated here to the US after WWII and started a family. When I was the age of 7 or 8 years old, he moved here to Houston, Texas to live with our family where he stayed until his passing in 2003. This made him somewhat of a third parent to me. He was never boastful about Wales nor did he speak Welsh in the home (even though he was fluent) but was always on hand to answer questions and tell stories for geography of history projects for school.
We also kept in touch with his relatives who remained in Wales and continue to do so to this day. After he passed in 2003, our family of 8 travelled together to Wales to spread his ashes. We spent almost 2 weeks there and immediately felt right at home with the extended family, the way of life, and the big personalities! I suppose that trip is what initially sparked our desire to connect to our "roots" that were never really a forefront in our home growing up.
As per the second part of the question, my younger brother Trey was playing lacrosse for a small university. My father (non-Welsh but has adopted the heritage) contacted the team in 2009 to see if there was any interest in having him tryout for the squad, in hopes to make the Senior Men's Team for the FIL World Lacrosse Championships which were being held in Manchester July, 2010. Management agreed to have him come participate in the August 2009 Celtic Cup and again in May 2010 for the British National Championships.
Trey made the squad! We were all very excited for him as it is such an accomplishment. Once he made the squad, my qualifications as an Athletic Trainer working collegiate women's lacrosse came up and management ended up extending an invitation to join the team for the Worlds. Needless to say, it was a large feat to get over there (Thanks Dad!) but it was one of the best "Workcations" I've ever had. Since that time, I have kept in touch with most, if not all, of the squad through social media, e-mails, and the team online forum. When it came time for the team to start planning for Denver, I reached out to one of the Captains, Paul Simpson to inquire if they would be interested in having me on staff again. Needless to say, they jumped on the chance to have the help and we began preparing.

The Welsh team makes its entrance at the European Championships in Amsterdam 2012

The follow up question most people ask is "What is an Athletic Trainer exactly"? Here in the US, an Athletic Trainer is a healthcare professional who has completed a Bachelor program (at minimum) at an accredited university. I am board certified as well as licensed to practice in Texas. We specialize in all aspects of sports medicine which include but are not limited to: injury prevention, management of emergencies, assessment, evaluation, and treatment of injuries and conditions, rehabilitation, environmental factors such as weather, altitude, playing conditions, sport performance, nutrition, organization and administration in regards to providing medical care. More information on Athletic Trainers can be found at athletictrainers.org

AmeriCymru: What is the challenge facing the team in preparation for their appearance at the FIL Championships in Denver this year?
Meghan: There are many great challenges facing the team as they prepare for this summers endeavour at the World Championships. As a whole, the final team roster was finalized this past January. Now that the final roster is in place, they really have to come together as a unit on the playing field while only having a handful of weekend training sessions together and a few games prior to the trip in July. Every last person on the team from player, to coaches, to myself have a day job. So making the commitment to train in the gym, on the lacrosse field, watching video, going over play books, as well as healing any injuries along the way (right now there are several) just shows the character and determination of everyone involved.
In addition, I feel the biggest monster is funding. The team is in no way sponsored by Wales Sport and is coming up with ALL of our funding on our own through personal donations and sponsorships. It is a high undertaking to say the least. Finally, logistics are a big task as well. Team management has to coordinate the 30+ official travel party, all of the equipment, medical supplies, etc. It surely is a huge undertaking.

Team Picture from the European Championships, Amsterdam - 2012

AmeriCymru: What fund raising initiatives are in place already? Where can people go to help?
Meghan: There are many fundraising initiatives already in place. The major one is that the website is set-up to receive donations electronically. The website is www.waleslacrosse.com If a person wished to donate, they can do so from either the donations tab (and choose which persons portion of funding they would like to contribute it to) or from that persons individual biography page, which are listed under "the squad" tab. Individually, we are all doing whatever we can to create PR, seek donations and sponsorships, and save money ourselves.

Meghan McKay doing a sideline injury evaluation and taping during a match in 2010.

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