World Lacrosse today welcomed Nigeria and Rwanda to the international lacrosse community, bringing its global membership to 77 with the addition of the two new National Federations.
The inclusion of Nigeria and Rwanda continues the momentous global growth of the sport’s international governing body, which has added seven new members in the last calendar year and 34 in the last decade.
The Africa Association of Lacrosse has also been fully approved as World Lacrosse’s fourth Continental Federation, and it will support participation and sport development on the world’s second largest continent.
World Lacrosse CEO Jim Scherr said: “We are thrilled to welcome Nigeria and Rwanda to the World Lacrosse community. The inclusion of two more nations from Africa reflects the momentous growth of the sport on the continent.
“We are also very pleased with the Africa Association of Lacrosse’s immediate progress, which has led it to gain unanimous approval by our board. Through the AAL, we can more fully support development in all aspects to ensure that Africa advances on the same trajectory we are witnessing with our sport on a global level.”
Bob DeMarco, World Lacrosse board development director, said: “The development of lacrosse in Africa is among our top priorities as we seek to provide inclusive and accessible opportunities for youth to participate in sport. Adding two new African federations and confirming the Africa Association of Lacrosse as our fourth Continental Federation will foster increased growth on the continent as we continue to expand our global footprint.”
The AAL was formed in February with the establishment of a constitution and bylaws and appointment of its first president, Rufus Ntiamoah of Ghana, ahead of a formal application to serve as a Continental Federation.
The sport continues to grow in Africa behind the initiative Lacrosse for All: Africa, which was started in early 2020 by World Lacrosse. Bolstered by annual development grants from the International Olympic Committee, the program is designed to promote the game at the grassroots level and to build infrastructure to foster future progression. Shortly after the now-successful addition of the Nigerian and Rwandan National Federations, Uganda will make its women’s world championship debut in the upcoming competition in Towson, Maryland, USA.
Nigeria and Rwanda are two of seven members that gained membership in the past year from a variety of regions across the globe. The group is rounded out by Cambodia and Nicaragua, which were confirmed in February, and Indonesia, India, and Vietnam, which were added in November 2021. The past decade has seen a growth of nearly 80 percent in World Lacrosse membership, with 34 new members.