Families Tymkiv, Cordingley and Heidecker all had daughters interested in lacrosse and each family was travelling to a neighbouring town for a girls lacrosse program. Interested in the growth and development of a girl's field lacrosse program in Oakville, these three families saw the opportunity to begin with an experienced base. Starting with Under 11 and Under 15 teams would help to "grow the sport" in Oakville and mentor new girls and families to play and volunteer in our growing league.
What began with a desire to begin with a U11 team and a U15 team (we were keeping our fingers crossed for 30 interested girls) quickly blossomed into a league of 90+ girls and coaches! As our numbers were growing by the day, we had to evolve the format of the league to respond to the need and interest for a girl's field lacrosse program in Oakville.
Our first season than, offered house league and representative play at both U11 and U15 divisions. Despite the fact that we struggled to find a home field, girls and volunteers were having fun learning this new sport.
Our Under 11 house league concluded their season with a fun packed Gala Day that included a variety of lacrosse stations including fastest shot, stick tricks, cradle relay and much more. Fun was had by all.
Our Under 11 and Under 15 rep teams improved with every season game they played. Girls developed a sense of team, learned with every practise and game and had fun while doing so. Our Under 11 team, lead by nominated U11 Coach of the Year Crystal Robinson, won the Gold Medal in the Championship game in the B division pool. What a tremendous accomplishment in their first year of play!
A core planning committee worked throughout the off-season planning for the second year of the Oakville Lady Hawks program. We expanded our program to include Mini-Hawks, Under 11, Under 13, Under 15 and Under 19 divisions, with rep teams representing all divisions U11 and up.
We've built upon our previous successes and registered over 160 girls, coaches, trainers and managers in the program. In just two years, this puts the Oakville Lady Hawks as the second largest girls field program in Ontario behind Oshawa Lady Blue Knights.
Pre-season clinics also expanded in 2011 to welcome our newest players and to shake the dust off the sticks of our returning players. With the rental of two fields for two hours at the Burloak indoor fields, we were able to accommodate the growing number of girls and differentiate our instruction to meet their needs before the season began. Guest coaches from Edge Lacrosse and Team Canada's women's field programs supported our clinics on two different occasions giving our girls great opportunities to learn from and connect with elite level players in the province.
A big bonus for our club this year was the establishment of a home base for our program. The town provided the Oakville Lady Hawks with the three fields at White Oaks S.S. North Campus. The location was fairly central and enabled us to have all our divisions in one location to facilitate the use of equipment, our coaches and the mentorship of our youngest players.
The addition of the Mini-Hawks program for our youngest players was a huge success and we're excited about seeing these girls grow in the sport. Our house league season ended with another successful gala day that brought together all house league teams and divisions for a fun evening of lacrosse stations and scrimmages!
Our Under 11 rep team worked hard all season and lost at the bronze medal game to Mimico. The U13 rep team also worked hard all season, and it paid off as the team was bumped from the B division to the A division for provincials. The team ended up in 6th place in the province! The Lady Hawks U15 rep team showed tremendous growth and development over the season. This enabled them to capture the bronze medal in the B division at their provincials at the end of July! Another rep championship for Oakville Lady Hawks! Our U19 team, made up of mostly new players also showed tremendous heart and improvement over the course of the season as many girls were learning the sport. A great season was had by all! Here's looking forward to 2012!
2012 was a season of continued growth and development for the Oakville Lady Hawks. A 20% increase in registrations meant capacity house league teams for Mini-Hawks divisions through to the combined U13/U15 house league. The Gala evening was well attended and supported by the Toronto Rock's inflatable shooting range. Teams enjoyed participating in stations that involved lacrosse drills and games.
The Lady Hawks hosted OWFL league play again at the beginning of June, this time at Oakville's beautiful Shell Park. The change in venue brought 30+ teams from around the province to play on the A-class fields in a beautiful setting. Despite a bit of rain and chillier than expected weather, the hosting weekend was a success!
Oakville Lady Hawks rep teams also continued to show the rest of the province their growth and determination. The Under 11 team coached by Crystal Robinson and Alyse Newsome narrowly missed medalling in the Under 11 provincials and put much hard work into the season to get there. These girls showed tremendous improvement over the season and it will be exciting to watch them as they progress through the divisions.
The Under 13 team held strong in the A division this season and worked hard to stay competitive under the guidance and leadership of Coach Bryanne Gilkinson. This team pulled out a Bronze medal in provincials in A! Under 15 Lady Hawks continued upon their previous success in 2011 and progressed to a Silver Medal in the B division in 2012. Special thanks to coaches Laura McLaughlin, Brent Harwood and Darlene Zolis. This season was especially monumental for our Under 19 team, only in its second season of play. Working hard together, these girls persevered and at provincials, Coach Jackie Noble guided the team who came out with the Gold Medal in the C division. In just our third year, we pulled out three provincial medals!
Oakville Lady Hawks is so proud of all of its players from house league minis through to rep U19. We've seen the girls continue to learn and grow within the game and learn and apply important life skills of sportsmanship, being a teammate and hard work.