Jamie Scott has many things he wants to do as the new president of Chilliwack Minor Lacrosse.
Some would be considered small, like a new logo and revamped website.
Some are long overdue, like increasing the public profile of this made-in-Canada sport.
There is one goal that might be considered downright audacious. Within five years, Scott looks to double the membership of his association.
“We’re a very small association with 108 kids and we want to see that grow to 200-300 kids, and for that to happen we need to get out, talk to people and promote the game,” Scott said. “I want to have at least one or two teams per division, and that’s going to take a lot of work.”
Scott has been in the game, in one way or another, for the last 40 years.
He started playing when he was five, winning provincial and national titles with Richmond in his final year of minor lacrosse. He played five years of junior for the Surrey Rebels and Coquitlam Adanacs.
The former goaltender played in a Minto Cup with the Adanacs.
Scott was drafted by the Burnaby Lakers of the senior A Western Lacrosse Association.
He won two national titles at the senior B level, then moved on to coaching.
Scott was the first bench boss for the Langley Thunder and a general manager in Delta for a few years.
When he moved to Chilliwack, he took the reigns of the midget A2 team, and when the presidency of CMLA opened in the spring, he was a natural choice.
“I’ve got that background in the game and I know a lot of people, because lacrosse is a very small community,” he said. “From what I’ve been told I’ve got a pretty good name out there, and I’ve got a lot of support out there from people I’ve played or coached with or against. They don’t want to see this association falter.”
Scott doesn’t lack passion.
He can talk for hours about how National Hockey League stars like Wayne Gretzky, John Tavares and Steven Stamkos got their starts in lacrosse. He rues the day in 1994 when the Canadian government changed lacrosse from Canada’s national game to the national summer sport.
Scott leads a brand new executive as the calender flips to 2015. His team took over in September and are already hard at work re-writing CMLA’s bylaws and constitution.
It’s a ground-up makeover.
“I’m looking to work with organizations in Chilliwack who’ve had success, like the Chiefs and minor football, and ask them, ‘How have you been successful?” he said. “I want to implement some of those ideas, and eventually, I’d like to get CMLA to the point where other associations are coming to us, asking us what we’re doing right.”
A key component of Scott’s plan is getting the game into schools, talking to principals and teachers to refine the lacrosse curriculum that already exists. He’s also working on the aboriginal side through the BC Lacrosse Association.
“If we can get a stick in some child’s hand, they will love lacrosse just as much as they’d love any other sport,” Scott promised. “What I care about is kids having fun, learning and at the end of the year they’re happy that they played. That’s the big picture for me.”
Another of Scott’s ideas is to get CMLA’s lengthy list of alumni involved.
Several locals have gone on from Chilliwack to do great things in lacrosse.
Ashley Heisler and Tanner Olsen have secured NCAA scholarships in the last couple years, with Brydan Heisler set to join them next fall.
The Porter boys, Colton and Zack, are hard-nosed players with the senior A Maple Ridge Burrards.
Chilliwackians have found their way into intermediate, junior and senior leagues in box and field lacrosse.
“A lot of our more recent alumni are down south now, or somewhere in BC creating contacts with people in the lacrosse community,” Scott said. “And a lot of our past alumni are still living locally, and they now have children. We want to get all of them re-engaged with the game.”
Scott’s grand vision is to take people who have no concept of lacrosse and make them believers.
One at a time.
Child and adult.
To that end, he issues a challenge.
“I want people to know the game and understand the game,” he said. “When’s the last time you watched a lacrosse game live? Come out. I will come out with you. I will stand beside you and explain it.”
– CMLA is holding a special general meeting Dec. 7 to vote on a new constitution and by-laws.
The gathering starts at 7 p.m. in the Prospera Centre meeting room, and more info can be found online at chilliwacklacrosse.com.