Japan Lacrosse Association (JLA) the leader of Asia lacrosse, have done a great deal for the growth of lacrosse in Asia, every Asian lacrosse program benefited from the support/assistance by JLA. And that includes Thailand, which have develop a special relationship with Japan over the last two and a half years. Kentaro Shimizu have been coming to Thailand since the first game in Bangkok in 2010, and every years since. Ken work closely with Payu to develop an referee development program in Thailand, which most likely will officially debut at TLA’s first game of 2013.
Besides the mutual respect between TLA President: Payu Nerngchamnong, and the JLA Executive board members (Who Payu looked up to as his “mentors” to his GTG efforts). Japanese players who currently lived in Thailand, have found them self a new lacrosse family in Thailand with TLA. Many of the former Japanese national team players, are now playing for Thailand. On top of using their vast experiences to help improve the Thai players, to become even better/smarter players.
Even those Japanese players who does not live in Thailand, still managed to swing by (during their holiday) Thailand’s practices and join in on the fun. To see Thai and Japanese able to communicate through the “language of lacrosse” despite the language barrier, and play together as if they’ve been playing together for ages. Reflects the motto that JLA promote over the years which is “Lacrosse Makes Friends”. No Matter how different they are, or what language they speaks… Lacrosse seem to bring people together. Expect to see more of joint lacrosse activities between the two programs in the near future.
Photo Credit: Ken Ikegawa (second from the right)