FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 12, 2019
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA – Two highly-respected leaders who have made lasting contributions to the growth of lacrosse in their countries will serve as Competition Managers for the World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
Nicola John, who enjoyed a distinguished international playing career for Wales before moving into team administration and National Governing Body leadership roles, will serve as Women’s Competition Manager; and Tom Lewis, who has been instrumental in supporting the growth of lacrosse throughout the Southeastern United States, will serve as Men’s Competition Manager.
The appointments, which have been approved by the World Lacrosse Board of Directors, were announced today by World Lacrosse Competition Director Fiona Clark.
As Competition Managers, John and Lewis will work with Clark, the World Games 2021 Birmingham Organizing Committee and participating National Governing Bodies to plan and deliver a competition that will feature eight women’s and eight men’s teams, utilizing the new international format and playing rules being developed by World Lacrosse.
The World Games 2021 Birmingham will take place July 15-25, with more than 3,400 athletes from 100-plus countries competing in 32 unique, multidisciplinary sports. The World Games was established by the International World Games Association, an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee. The World Games 2021 Birmingham marks the 40th anniversary, and 11th edition, of the international, multi-sport event.
Women’s lacrosse made its debut in the World Games in 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland, while 2021 will mark the first time men’s lacrosse has been included in the World Games.
“I am excited to be working with two exceptional leaders for the World Games 2021,” said Clark. “Nicola and Tom have both made significant impacts on our sport, and their appointments are testament to their commitment and work ethic over many years. Their strength of character will be pivotal to the success of lacrosse at these Games, which will see our sport played over nine days at BBVA Field, located on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.”
During her international playing career, John competed for Wales in the 1993 and 2001 World Cups. She helped lead Wales to a gold medal at the 1999 European Lacrosse Federation Championship and enjoyed a 20-year playing career at the club level with Putney Lacrosse Club near London.
Most recently, John served as Team Manager for Wales at the 2019 World Lacrosse Women’s U19 World Championship in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, where the team placed seventh. In 2018, John was Team Manager for Wales at the inaugural European Lacrosse Federation U20 Championship, where the team captured the bronze medal. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Wales Lacrosse, the National Governing Body for lacrosse in Wales, since 1999 and has been Treasurer since 2016.
“I am absolutely delighted to have been chosen by World Lacrosse to be part of our sport’s journey into the world of multi-sport events at the World Games 2021 Birmingham,” said John. “I look forward to working with all involved to showcase lacrosse at its best on this world stage.”
Lewis’ distinguished career in lacrosse includes playing varsity lacrosse at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, playing 15 years for the Alabama Men’s Lacrosse Club in Birmingham, and serving as head coach for the club team at the University of Alabama from 1995-2000.
Lewis is currently head coach of the Mountain Brook, Alabama, Girls Youth Lacrosse Program and from 2001-11 he served as head coach of the Boys Lacrosse Team at Mountain Brook High School. He is a collegiate-certified men’s lacrosse official and, for more than two decades, has volunteered his time as a coach, official and instructor for camps and clinics throughout the Southeastern United States. Lewis is an inaugural member of the Alabama Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
“I am both honored and excited to be a part of the inaugural men’s lacrosse competition at the World Games 2021 Birmingham,” said Lewis. “Knowing that this is the first time the World Games will host men’s lacrosse gives me the unique opportunity to help showcase this great sport to the world, right here from my beautiful hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.”
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 received Provisional Recognition from the International Olympic Committee.