Dear Nepean Knights families,
My name is Al Brown and I started as the president of NKMLA last month. By day, I am an elementary school teacher, and have been involved in Nepean Knights lacrosse as a parent, on-floor helper, coach, and competitive director (boys) since 2013. My dad introduced me to lacrosse at the age of 5, and I grew up playing lacrosse and hockey on the lakeshore in Toronto. Yes, I was a Mimico Mountaineer and an Etobicoke Eclipse. I played minor box and graduated to Junior level lacrosse. I know I don’t need to sell you on the merits of lacrosse and what it offers our players from an athletic standpoint, but it was of such value to me as I pursued a career in professional hockey. I love the game of lacrosse and it has been a part of my life for over 40 years.
I just wanted to pass along a quick note as we close out 2020 and look ahead to the new year. This past year has been unprecedented and certainly challenging in many ways. As Ontario braced for the first wave of Covid-19 way back in March, your Nepean Knights executive had been hard at work planning and preparing for the upcoming summer box season at both the house league and competitive levels. Scheduling, coaching selections, tournament selections, our own tournament planning, and equipment procurement had been completed and we were looking forward to seeing our young athletes play the game we all love. Unfortunately, the initial lockdown and subsequent safety measures and restrictions made it impossible to carry out our regular summer box lacrosse plans. As difficult as it was to see our upcoming season cancelled, the Nepean Knights Minor Lacrosse Association suffered another setback as we were unable to celebrate our 50th anniversary as a sports organization in Ottawa.
As challenging as the last year has been, it has provided us with opportunities to pause and reflect on our normal course of actions, make adjustments, and to celebrate the small victories that came up along the way. A few small victories included virtual coaching sessions with our competitive coaches, our Return to Play program throughout August and September, and practicing and scrimmaging at various outdoor slabs in Kanata (it was great to see our players outside under the lights). Although our programming was hindered to say the least, it was still great to see members of our Knights family either virtually or at the outdoor slabs enjoying moments of “normalcy” while talking or playing lacrosse.
As we close out this trying season, we wanted to sincerely thank the parents and players for your patience, understanding, flexibility and support as we navigated through the many obstacles along the way. Your generosity regarding registration holds was overwhelming and very much appreciated. It speaks volumes about how our families are willing to step up and help out.
To our coaches at all levels, thank you for doing what you do. Your mentorship to our players and families is so important, appreciated, and is not overlooked! As well, a special shout-out and thank you to all the coaches who stepped up during our Return to Play program.
To our managers, trainers, safety officers, on-floor helpers, referees, timekeepers, and anyone else who volunteered in some capacity, we thank you for all that you do and take on for our players and association.
Happy holidays, warm regards and we look forward to seeing you again in 2021!
President, Nepean Knights Minor Lacrosse Association