Lacrosse Development in Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan

This summer has undoubtedly marked the most exciting period of lacrosse development in the Asia Pacific region since the onset of COVID-19. In the beginning of 2023, our team welcomed a dynamic addition, Chris Jinno, as the APLU Executive Director. Chris embarked on a remarkable journey to Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, where he passionately promoted local lacrosse initiatives and personally witnessed the momentous kick-off of future lacrosse growth in the region.

In June 2023, a significant milestone was achieved in the advancement of lacrosse in Indonesia, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Indonesia Lacrosse Federation (FIL) and Yukako Idhera, a dedicated Japanese expat. Invited by FLI, the APLU development trip team successfully introduced lacrosse to over 150 enthusiastic elementary school students through engaging clinics held in three schools in Jakarta. Additionally, 10 athletes from the Karawang lacrosse community also benefited from these enriching sessions. 

Despite facing challenges in infrastructure, equipment accessibility, and gaining recognition, FLI has been working on these challenges and has a well-thought step-by-step development plan, encompassing initiatives such as showcasing lacrosse, establishing lacrosse schools, and organising domestic competitions.

While hurdles may persist, the FIL president Muhamad Riyad’s unwavering determination to overcome them through structured governance, equipment drives, and the unwavering support from expat communities has laid a strong foundation for a promising future for lacrosse in Southeast Asia. The dedication and passion exhibited during this journey serve as a beacon of hope for the sport’s flourishing growth in the region.

(Top: Elementary Students at CILANDAK BARAT 17 having fun with lacrosse, Bottom: Chris, Ji and Yukako instructing students at KALIBATA 07 elementary school) 

Continuing his development trip, Chris travelled to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, where the invaluable initial lacrosse development from local developer Chanel Nassir and Ruslan propelled the mission forward.

In Uzbekistan, under Chanel’s lead, they made remarkable strides, introducing lacrosse to over 100 enthusiastic student athletes and coaches in both Tashkent and Samarkand. Demonstrating their commitment to fostering the sport, they successfully organised lacrosse activities in Samarkand and laid the groundwork for its establishment in the capital city of Tashkent.

Another noteworthy achievement came in the form of a momentous memorandum of understanding signed with the Uzbekistan Hockey Association. This significant agreement aimed to provide lacrosse equipment and foster future partnerships with field hockey players, fostering the growth of both sports.

Moreover, Chanel devoted considerable efforts to the formation of the Uzbekistan Lacrosse Federation (ULA), a pivotal step in establishing a formal structure for the sport’s development. They engaged in constructive discussions with government ministries, seeking recognition for lacrosse domestically and with the World Lacrosse organization.

(Top: Silk Road University Lacrosse Player, Bottom: Joint Practice with Samarkand Girl’s Field hockey)

In Kazakhstan, Ruslan, Atyrau’s local lacrosse developer, successfully introduced the sport to the nation.

The team’s efforts were met with resounding success as they conducted introductory training sessions for young children and boys. The participants displayed impressive skills and genuine enthusiasm, indicating a promising reception for the sport in the country.

In addition to their on-ground initiatives, the team engaged in thoughtful discussions about the future of lacrosse development and expansion into other cities across Kazakhstan. With ambitious plans in mind, they set their sights on preparing for World Lacrosse membership in 2024, demonstrating a clear vision for the sport’s growth and recognition on an international scale.

Thanks to the collaboration with Ruslan and the team’s dedicated efforts, the foundation for lacrosse’s growth in Kazakhstan has been firmly laid. The positive response from the young athletes and the strategic plans for the future position Kazakhstan as a country poised to embrace and excel in the sport of lacrosse.

(Top: Group photo of the children, Bottom: Chris teaching the mechanics of shooting)