FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2021
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, USA – World Lacrosse is today welcoming the South African Lacrosse Association as the 69th member of the rapidly-growing international federation for men’s and women’s lacrosse.
The application for membership from the South African Lacrosse Association (SALA) was approved by the World Lacrosse (WL) Development Committee, Board of Directors and through a vote of delegates representing WL member-National Governing Bodies.
SALA becomes the fourth World Lacrosse member from the Continent of Africa, joining the Ghana Lacrosse Association, Kenya Lacrosse Association and Uganda Lacrosse Association. In the last six months, the Kenya Lacrosse Association and Uganda Lacrosse Association have been elevated to Full Member status within World Lacrosse, which means National Teams from Kenya and Uganda are now eligible to advance to the medal rounds in World Championship competition and the NGBs will have a voting delegate in the annual World Lacrosse General Assembly.
In 2007, a group of dedicated volunteers came together to establish the South African Lacrosse Project (SALP), the purpose of which was to introduce young people to lacrosse and the life-changing values of participation in sport, particularly in smaller villages in the Limpopo Province north of Johannesburg that lack the same sport offerings found in many major cities. Started by Kip and Harrison Hart and their mother, Barbara Cox, the South African Lacrosse Project has succeeded in introducing thousands of young people to lacrosse.
In 2020, Johannesburg-born Chris Boushy established the South African Lacrosse Association to build upon the impressive work of the SALP and pursue formal recognition as a National Governing Body by World Lacrosse. Boushy, who is President of the South African Lacrosse Association, is an accomplished professional lacrosse player, having played two seasons (2019 and 2020) for the Halifax Thunderbirds of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). In 2019, he finished fifth among NLL rookies in points with 36. Prior to beginning his professional career, Boushy played four seasons of college lacrosse for Queen’s University in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association.
Among the goals of the South African Lacrosse Association is to bring lacrosse into the mainstream of sport opportunities for young people in South Africa. To do so, SALA is drawing upon the experience of volunteers who helped drive the success of the South African Lacrosse Project, as well as Chris’ father, Andrew Boushy, who helped establish national ice hockey teams for South Africa that have gone on to compete in International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships.
Though SALA is a relatively young organization, it has already begun to establish partnerships with youth organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Africa, through which lacrosse programing will be delivered to more than 2,000 young people across eight different sites.
“This is a wonderful example of volunteers coming together to create life-changing opportunities for young people through participation in lacrosse,” said World Lacrosse President Sue Redfern. “It is particularly inspiring to see an athlete who is at the top of his game so focused on giving back and creating pathways for young people in South Africa to pursue our great game. We congratulate and thank Chris Boushy and everyone associated with the South African Lacrosse Association for becoming our newest member-National Governing Body.”
“It’s been quite a journey to get to this point and we are excited about what lies ahead,” said Boushy. “Our goals are quite simple: to get as many kids as possible to start playing lacrosse, in every and any way we can do that, whether that’s through partnering with charities like the Boys and Girls Clubs or developing on where we have already seen lacrosse have some success in areas such as the Limpopo Province.
“Hopefully, in the next decade, we will be able to send teams to represent South Africa on the World Championship stage. If we lay the groundwork now and do so in an orderly fashion and make sure it’s done right, I think that’s something we can surely do,” added Boushy.
“The membership application we received from the South African Lacrosse Association was outstanding, offering a long-term vision and plan for the continued growth of lacrosse in South Africa in which we have a great deal of confidence,” said Bob DeMarco, World Lacrosse Development Director and Board of Directors member. “We are proud to welcome SALA and the athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers it serves to the rapidly-growing World Lacrosse family.”
Emblematic of the growth in interest and participation lacrosse is experiencing around the globe, World Lacrosse has welcomed six new member-NGBs in the last 18 months:
Lithuania Lacrosse (December 2019)
Barbados Lacrosse Association (December 2019)
Panama Lacrosse Association (April 2020)
Dominican Republic Lacrosse (August 2020)
US Virgin Islands Lacrosse Association (November 2020)
South African Lacrosse Association (April 2021)
Media Contact: Darryl Seibel
About World Lacrosse
World Lacrosse is the international federation for men’s and women’s lacrosse, responsible for providing effective leadership and governance of the sport internationally while supporting the continued growth of lacrosse worldwide. In November 2018, World Lacrosse was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee. The President of World Lacrosse is Sue Redfern of England.