The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) has held its latest development clinic in Greece as the world governing body continues to set its sights on Olympic inclusion.
The FIL’s development team travelled to the home of the Ancient Games at the invitation of Bob Vlahakis, former general manager of the Greek Lacrosse Association (GLA).
Vlahakis had asked the FIL Development Committee to present a clinic in and around Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece.
"Bob, who has been instrumental developing the GLA and assisting with the organisation and coordination of youth lacrosse development, put us in contact with Stepan Partemian, the GLA regional director and coordinator of athletics and student affairs at Anatolia College, which includes three divisions: elementary, high school and the American College of Thessaloniki," an FIL statement reads.
"Without Bob, Stepan and the entire GLA, the clinic would not have been possible, and we are grateful for their hard work and support in planning and executing the event."
The three days of clinics involved males and females of all ages including elementary, middle school, high school, college and post-graduate students.
"Another first was the workshop we gave each day in the late afternoon to physical education teachers from the Thessaloniki region interested in introducing lacrosse in their classes," the statement added.
"They were an amazing group of motivated, enthusiastic professionals willing to try something new that was perhaps a little out of their comfort zone."
"They earned our respect and thanks for fully participating in the clinics after a long day of teaching.
"The GLA has set a standard of achievement for developing youth lacrosse in their country by encouraging teachers in some of their school districts to teach and promote the game.
"The growth of the sport in Greece will depend on the involvement of participants at an early age, and introducing lacrosse in the schools will help achieve this goal."
The FIL accepted Greece as a member nation in June.
The following month, FIL women’s director Shelley Maher said she believed that players then competing in the sport's World Games debut in Wrocław had a greater appetite for Olympic inclusion.
Lacrosse has featured at two Summer Games in St Louis in 1904 and London in 1908, with Canada winning both gold medals.
It was also a demonstration sport at the 1928, 1932 and 1948 Games, which were held in Amsterdam, Los Angeles and London respectively.
Jim Scherr was named as the first chief executive in the history of the FIL in May and expressed his desire to get the sport back in the Olympics after his appointment.