BRITISH LACROSSE – Formal incorporation and Men’s and Women’s Team appointments

BRITISH LACROSSE – Formal incorporation and Men’s and Women’s Team appointments

2nd August 2021, Manchester

British Lacrosse Ltd is delighted to announce its incorporation as the official national coordinating body for men’s and women’s elite lacrosse in Great Britain.

Building on a rich heritage of elite lacrosse, the creation of British Lacrosse formalises the structure for the most talented players in England, Scotland and Wales to become part of British squads where they will benefit from a best-in-class performance pathway to represent Great Britain at the World Games and subsequently at the Olympic Games, if (as is anticipated) lacrosse makes a return as an Olympic sport in 2028.

Men’s and Women’s Team Appointments

Following a series of interviews carried out by Phil Collier and Tom Wenham (Head Coaches of the women’s and men’s teams respectively), we have made further appointments to the staff teams as we start to prepare for next year’s World Games.

The British Lacrosse Men’s and Women’s coaching teams have been appointed with a remit that both teams will collaborate closely and this has been considered in their selection. British Lacrosse is committed to building a truly joined up and cohesive joint Men’s and Women’s performance programme and these appointments are one of our first steps.

WOMEN’S TEAM

Head Coach – Phil Collier

Assistant Coach – Ailsa Stott

Assistant Coach – Kate Nelson-Lee

Ailsa is the current Head Coach of the Scotland team and has the unique experience of having played for Great Britain at the last World Games in 2017.

Kate is currently an Assistant Coach for the England team, and a former Scotland U19 HC. She has been involved as a coach or volunteer at the last seven World Lacrosse competitive tournaments, developing positive relationships with officials and event organisers.

The World Games has stipulated that the official squad for the tournament will consist of ten players and three staff members. However, we are looking to put in place a wider support team to help us with the preparation of the squad for next year’s World Games and to start the process of building a programme capable of winning medals at the 2028 Olympics. In that context we have invited Erica Erb to join the Women’s coaching team.

Erica is the current Head Coach of Wales and had two successful years as Head Coach at Exeter University (going one season undefeated), where she also earned two Masters degrees. Erica has significant international coaching experience, having worked in Germany, the USA and the UK.

“I was very impressed with the quality of applicants for the Assistant Coach roles’ said Head Coach Phil Collier. “This is reflected in the appointments we have been able to make. I am really excited and look forward to working with the coaches to prepare the best Great Britain team we can and to compete successfully at next year’s World Games. Our coaching team offers a good balance of international playing and coaching experience, together with a range of complementary skills both on and off the field. And with all three Home Nation Head Coaches involved, I believe this will ensure a genuine collaborative approach, helping to mitigate the challenge of preparing the Great Britain team without disrupting the Home Nation teams’ own preparations for the 2022 World Championships”

MEN’S TEAM

Head Coach – Tom Wenham

Assistant Coach – Ravi K Sitlani

Assistant Coach – Andy Downing

Ravi has a hugely impressive lacrosse CV that includes both coaching and managerial roles and he was a key part of the coaching staff for the England men’s team at the 2018 World Championships.

Andy started in the field format of the game but following recognition at international level as a player he has turned his attention to coaching and developing Box lacrosse in the UK. He is currently an integral part of the coaching staff for the England Box team.

Men’s Head Coach Tom Wenham said “I’m enormously excited to be working with two such experienced and well-connected coaches. Ravi is ideally placed to support British Lacrosse and the Men’s team with his managerial and organisational skills as well as his considerable coaching expertise.”

“There’s likely to be a lot of cross-over between Box lacrosse and the 6s format in terms of the style of play and Andy’s experience as a Box coach, as well as his wider connections with the Box format, will make him an invaluable addition to the coaching staff. I’m sure that both will have a huge impact and having them on board is a really exciting step forwards as we build towards the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama next summer.”

Sallie Barker who has been coordinating the Great Britain squads for many years and becomes Chair of British Lacrosse commented “These are exciting times. We’ve always believed in the potential of achieving more together across the Home Nations. By formalising our structure and efforts, British Lacrosse will complement and support the ambitions of England, Scotland and Wales and benefit from the high levels of capability, experience, and expertise they have in promoting, developing and leading the sport we all love in their own countries and on the world stage.”

British Lacrosse is governed by a Board of Directors that includes three Executive Directors and two Independent Non-Executive Directors. The Executive Directors are appointed by their respective national governing body and are currently Mark Coups, CEO of England Lacrosse; Lorna Powell, former Chair, Lacrosse Scotland; and Lesley Lawrenson, member of Wales Lacrosse Executive Committee.