History of the Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union
The Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union was founded in 2004 and is the umbrella sports organization for competition and development opportunities within the Asia & Pacific Rim region. Its objectives in this region are:
- to promote and develop lacrosse
- to provide a means of communication between all lacrosse playing and developing countries
- to encourage international exchange and friendship through lacrosse between Members and prospective Members
- to unify both men and women lacrosse organizations in order to better develop the game and
- to organize competition opportunities for Members.
On the 8th of July 2004 Peter Hobbs, former President of the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF), announced the establishment of a Lacrosse Federation for the Asia Pacific Region. At the inaugural meeting in Adelaide, attended by approximately 25 people who were visiting for the first Asia Pacific Games it was resolved that an Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union (APLU) be formed with the following missions:
- to further grow lacrosse in countries where the sport already exists and
- to seed lacrosse into new countries in the Asia Pacific region.
Founding members were Australia (ALA), Hong Kong (HKLA), South Korea (KLA) and Japan (JLA).
Yas Hayakawa from the JLA was appointed Interim Chair Person of the Executive Board with fellow committee members being Albert Lai (Hong Kong), Myung Jin Kim (South Korea) Alan Frederick (Australia), and a nominee from New Zealand (2007 Roger Snow).
Whilst this was initially formed as a “Men’s lacrosse APLU for a men’s lacrosse competition” it was agreed that the IFWLA President, Fiona Clark, would be contacted with the intention of discussing the involvement of Women’s Lacrosse in all future events.
Key strategies decided at the first meeting included:
- The preparation of a Constitution by the Committee
- The staging of the second ASPAC Games to be held in Osaka, Japan in June, 2005 to be hosted by the Japan Lacrosse Association (JLA).
- A proposal that future games will be planned for odd numbered years being 2007, 2009 and 2011.
In July 2005 the 2nd Asia Pacific Lacrosse men’s tournament in Osaka, Japan was held, as well as the second Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union conference. Participants of the conference were men and women’s representatives from Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan, and a representative from China. In addition, representatives from prospective countries, Malaysia and Indonesia, joined this conference and actively exchanged ideas for possible expansion of Lacrosse in these new regions. It was agreed to hold an APLU meeting annually, and to conduct an Asia Pacific Championship every 2 years with the next event planned for the Southern Hemisphere in 2007.
With this background, and following this meeting in 2005, President Yasuhiko Hayakawa extended an invitation to the NZLA to apply for membership to the APLU stating “We believe you have common interests in growing this sport into the Asia Pacific region, as you already participated in the World Lacrosse Tournament of both men’s and women’s.”
From this time membership has continued to increase, and from 4 countries in 2004 membership has grown to 8 Full Members, 4 Associate Members, and 1 Affiliate Member in January 2021.
Hong Kong (HKLA)
South Korea (KLA)
Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL)
Chinese Taipei Lacrosse Association (TLA))
The APLU is continuing to expand its membership and visibility.
In 2012 the APLU applied for membership to the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL), and on 16 May of that year Stan Cockerton, President of the FIL announced “that the Asian Pacific Lacrosse Union (APLU) joins Fédération Internationale d’Inter-Crosse (FIIC) to become the 2nd allied member of FIL.”
Much of the discussion at General Meetings has focussed on the development of members, and increasing opportunities for competition between members, and these meetings have been held in conjunction with ASPAC Championships and with the Men’s World Series:
- 2004 Adelaide, Australia
- 2005 Osaka, Japan
- 2006 Ontario, Canada
- 2007 Auckland, New Zealand
- 2009 Suwon, South Korea
- 2010 Manchester, England
- 2011 Auckland, New Zealand
- 2013 Beijing, China
- 2015 Bangkok, Thailand
- 2017 Jeju, South Korea
- 2019 Gyeongju, South Korea
- 2020 Virtual
Copies of the minutes from these meetings are available by clicking here.
The composition of the Executive Committee remained relatively unchanged until the 2011 elections at which time Mike Slattery (Australia) was voted into the President position, Yas Hayakawa (Japan) became Vice President and Fiona Clark (Australia) was appointed the Executive Director. Progress has continued to be made and since 2012 the Union’s Executive Board has formally lodged the APLU Constitution with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, raised its first funds through an auction at the ASPAC Championship in Beijing, increased its membership, introduced a membership fee (for Full and Associate Members), opened a bank account, developed a logo and launched a website! It is planned that these initiatives shall assist with the development of the Union thereby helping the growth of lacrosse in the Asia Pacific region.
Further updates of the constitution have ensured further strengthening of APLU governance, initiating board member rotation and expanding the board in 2021.