KINGSTON, JAMAICA – Growing up in Duxbury, MA, Harry Holden and brothers Charlie and Peter Willauer had what they would describe as fortunate lives; They have great friends and families, they went to great schools, and they grew up in a beautiful town on the south shore of Boston. Their hometown of Duxbury is highly regarded as one of the most popular lacrosse towns in the country. And so it is with a spirit of gratitude that the trio set out later this month to coach lacrosse in some of the rough and tumble neighborhoods of Kingston, Jamaica.
“The area of Kingston where they will be serving and coaching is pretty much the exact opposite of Duxbury,” said Kevin Dugan, founder of Fields of Growth, most simply described as a Peace Corp for lacrosse players. “They will be working with our community partner, the St. Patrick’s Foundation, to start lacrosse teams in their two high schools. They will see a much different side of Jamaica than most college students see on spring break. I am really excited to have Charlie, Peter and Harry heading down there to make an extended trip. This is a critical time in the development of the sport in Jamaica and their service is going to be invaluable.”
Most people know Jamaica as a tourist destination or a country with high poverty rates and serious challenges, however it is also a nation with great human potential. Jamaica has been dubbed the nation with the “fastest athletes on earth.” So it would make sense that the country that takes great pride in it’s Olympic gold medal sprinters, would be excited about welcoming lacrosse, “the fastest game on two feet.”
“As we prepare to move on and establish careers for ourselves we think it is fitting that we first take a chance to serve, gain perspective and give back to the game that has give us so much –Lacrosse,” Says Charlie Willauer. “Lacrosse has been a sport that has shaped our lives, and lead to unbelievable opportunities and friendships. The three of us have always loved lacrosse- we’ve all been on teams, we’ve all coached and been coached since we were kids. We have seen firsthand the way the player coach relationship can leave lasting life lessons and values. Lacrosse has been our gateway. It can help youth find their passion, build confidence on and off the field, and players ultimately find defining moments in the sweat of the game. Lacrosse has no cultural, linguistic or geographical bounds. It can be a unifying and gratifying form of human growth in any country, so why not in Jamaica?”
The group will be arriving in Jamaica in mid-November. They will spend 5 weeks in Jamaica working closely with the St. Patrick Foundation who is partnered with Fields of Growth to assist in the development of the Jamaican Lacrosse Association. The St. Patrick Foundation is a vital human services organization that strives to bring residents of selected low income communities the relevant skills and opportunities, thereby making it possible for their social and economic advancement. Their main assignment will be starting lacrosse in two schools run by the St. Patrick’s Foundation.
You can make a gift towards their trip and the JLA by clicking here.