(TORONTO, ONTARIO) Chinese Taipei was granted membership as the 52nd country to join the Federation of International Lacrosse. The Taiwan Lacrosse Association (TWLA) focuses on the growth of lacrosse in the country and joins nine other Pacific rim members; Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia.
Tom Hayes, FIL Director of Development, was proud to make the announcement, “We welcome Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) as the 52nd member of the FIL to the international lacrosse community. We recognize the growth of lacrosse in southeast Asia as the fastest growing region in the world. The FIL looks forward to Taiwan attending future FIL Championships.”
Taiwan Lacrosse is a government-approved program under the Ministry of Education. TWLA is developing programs in high schools in both Taipei and Taitung and they plan to enter events in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore this coming year.
TWLA Executive Director and Director of Men’s Lacrosse, Christopher Wei provides a synopsis of lacrosse development in Taiwan below.
First Group Practice
It all started when two young gentlemen, Scott Yang and Cosmo Wei wanted to find people in Taiwan to play a game of lacrosse or two. A Facebook Group was setup as a bulletin board and they found a riverside park to begin practicing and playing. Like in the film, “Field of Dreams,” once it was built, helping hands and fellow lacrosse enthusiasts came.
Scott Yang, center left and Cosmo Wei, center right.
The feedback and interest grew vigorously. Even parents and teachers began to get involved, helping to build momentum at an institutional level.
First Pre-Organizational Planning Meeting
From left to right: Chris Wei, Executive Director; Mike Costanzo, Coaching Advisor; Sarah Lin, Chairwoman; Shang Liu, Executive Director.
Shortly after we sketched out a preliminary development plan, the lacrosse god sent us a gift. At Taitung, a southeastern city in Taiwan with a large aboriginal Taiwanese population, Kung Tung High School committed to develop lacrosse as one of of the sports in their curriculum and form the very first high school varsity team in Taiwan.
Kung Tung High School is the very first high school in Taiwan to add lacrosse as a varsity sport.
Kung Tung High School students practicing their stick skills.
Meanwhile, we gathered enough interest and formally engaged in the application of institutionalizing Taiwan Lacrosse Association as a formally registered entity in Taiwan.
Our Very First Lacrosse Exhibition Game
Four months after Kung Tung High School team was formed, we organized the very first lacrosse exhibition game through support from the Hong Kong Lacrosse Association and Team Skyers, one of HKLA’s Division 1 teams. The event garnered television, newspaper and internet news coverage.
Team Taipei Huddle.
Exhibition Game Action.
Team Taipei had a great time with the Skyers team from Hong Kong.
Taiwan’s First Collegiate Level Team
As the word spread, more schools demonstrated interest in lacrosse. Two months later, Taipei City University joins in on lacrosse development in Taiwan by establishing the first collegiate level team.
Taipei City University forms Taiwan’s first collegiate level lacrosse team.
And the story continues…
Everyone at Taiwan Lacrosse Association expresses our gratefulness to the following fellow lacrosse associations for providing guidance and assistance throughout the process of our development.
Hong Kong Lacrosse Association — Louis Hou, Frankie Fung, Jordan Wong
Japan Lacrosse Association — Kentaro Shimizu
Singapore Lacrosse Association — Craig Beauchamp
Thailand Lacrosse Association — Payu Nerngchamnong
We also extend our thanks and gratitude to all of the referees at Singapore Lacrosse Spectacular (Timothy Howard, Steve McRae, Yusuke Kondo, Dennis Cheng) who helped train our new referees.
Special thanks to three academic institutions who have provided us with effective and inspirational coaching talents:
Hong Kong University — Cheng Cheung Wai, a.k.a. 7, and Kwan Che Wa
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin, TX — Cosmo Wei
Williams College, Williamstown, MA — Jack Lauroesch and his teammates
Last but not least, come visit/join us on:
About the TWLA
Institutionalized by laws and for not-for-profit purpose, this Association aims to promote the sport of Lacrosse and related activities. We hope to nurture the skills and interest level of Lacrosse through organizing national and international lacrosse games in various levels of community in Taiwan.