The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, federal Minister of Science and Sport announces lacrosse will be included as a sport in the upcoming Canada Summer Games 2021 to be held in Niagara.
The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, federal Minister of Science and Sport was in St. Catharines yesterday to announce the inclusion of Lacrosse as part of the upcoming 2021 Canada Games which will take place in Niagara. While there was some hope, given the federal government was sending a cabinet minister to Niagara, the announcement would include the feds portion for infrastructure funding for the Games it nonetheless was good news for sport and in particular the lacrosse community. The federal government is kicking in $1.7 million in order to add lacrosse as a sport to the Games.
With the Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a backdrop, Minister Duncan said that the lacrosse competition, a pilot project for the 2021 Games, will be box lacrosse format, and will feature both male and female teams. Lacrosse last participated in the Canada Summer Games in 1985. Lacrosse was named Canada’s National Game by Parliament in 1859. In 1994 Parliament passed the National Sports of Canada Act which declared lacrosse to be “Canada’s National Summer Sport” and hockey became the nation’s national winter sport.
“The Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) and its member associations are proud to showcase the game our indigenous people gave to us—the Creators game, the healing game—at the Canada Summer Games,” said Joey Harris, president of the CLA.
Lacrosse, often referred to as “the fastest game on two feet”, will be played out of the proposed Canada Games Park facility which will leave a legacy for the Niagara lacrosse community, as well as host future national and international competitions, and advanced development programming.
“We are elated that Canada’s national summer sport has been included in the 2021 Canada Games. Niagara has long been a centre for lacrosse and we look forward to celebrating this with our Indigenous community,” said Doug Hamilton, 2021 Canada Games Chair. “The lacrosse facilities planned at our proposed Canada Games Park will help ensure that we provide a critical and lasting legacy for lacrosse.”
The Canada Games Council also added their support for the addition of box lacrosse to the 2021 Canada Summer Games in Niagara. “Adding a culturally vital sport like lacrosse to the Canada Games sport programme is just one way we can contribute to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action related to sport,” said Evan Johnston Chair of Canada Games Council Board of Directors. “We are grateful for the government’s continued support and look forward to working with Niagara 2021 and our partners across the country to implement this exciting pilot project.”
The 2021 Canada Games will take place from August 6 to the 22 at venues and facilities across the Niagara region. In addition to 18 sporting events, the 2021 Canada Games will celebrate Canadian and Indigenous Cultures in all 12 Niagara municipalities with a series of festivals and event programming leading up to, and during the Games. The 2021 Canada Games will also provide an unprecedented opportunity to further unify Niagara with the planned participation of an estimated 4,000 volunteers, as well as proposed infrastructure builds and upgrades to facilities across Niagara which will leave behind a permanent legacy.