During the months of April and May, Black Star Lacrosse Club has been making sports history among the youth in Los Angeles.
Black Star Lacrosse Club’s goal is to improve the quality of life of underrepresented groups and empower youth to overcome barriers to success, happiness, health, economic prosperity, academics, leadership and self-confidence through the game of lacrosse. Nesly Geffrard, founder, president and head coach shared his experience in creating this organization as well as what having this club means to the community.
“I’ve been coaching lacrosse for 10 years now. I’ve been out here for two-and-one-half, so I’m trying to get more kids into it and provide more opportunities for them,” said Geffrard, who has nine years of coaching experience, and 15 years of playing experience.
“We’ve been grateful to get some of our kid’s scholarships, and I would love to see our kids getting into the HBCU sports arena as well. We are the only team that looks the way we do out here, and we’re trying to grow even more,” he noted.
Under the guidance of Geffrard, Black Star Lacrosse Club achieved major historical wins during their games in April and May. On April 23, the 2nd and 3rd grade boys team played at Belmar Park, a special location to play at given its rich Black cultural history. Santa Monica was a place of refuge for many Black people escaping the Jim Crow south, and many Black families settled into the neighborhood of Belmar Park.
It became a booming place for Black businesses until the 1950s when gentrification and eminent domain took hold of the community, forcing these thriving Black businesses and families out. For Black Star to play on the new field at Belmar Park, it is incredibly important to recognize the history, and reclaim their presence, especially being apart of the youth in this community.
A few weeks after, on May 7, the Black Star Girls Lacrosse team played at Edward Vincent Park, the first time that a predominantly Black lacrosse team had played a game in Inglewood. The growing participation and team membership for Black Star proved again to be noteworthy, making history that will forever be remembered.
Not only does Black Star offer lacrosse, but also during their spring season, they collaborated with the L.A. County ocean lifeguards to obtain admission for team members to the free Ocean Adventure Camp. The kids got to hang with the ocean lifeguards and learn about water safety through activities and fun outings along the coast. Many of their activities included learning about waves, currents, tidepools, and careers, while also taking part in kayaking, paddle-boarding, and sailing.
Black Star Lacrosse hopes to develop Angeleno youth into highly skilled lacrosse players who graduate from their program with fond memories of a youth lacrosse team experience that was the foundation and inspiration of their continued future playing lacrosse.
As stated in the organization’s mission statement, “We are committed to teaching the power of teamwork, sportsmanship, honor, responsibility, communication, courage, and leadership. Black Star Lacrosse Club seeks to develop, advance, and facilitate an all-inclusive, safe, fun, developmental and competitive lacrosse experience.
“Every participant, regardless of age level, identity and initial skill will have the opportunity to learn the game while improving individual and team skills and prepare Angeleno youth for high school level lacrosse.”
To learn more about Black Star Lacrosse, visit blackstarlacrosse.org or follow them on Instagram @blackstarlax to find out how your child or loved one can get involved!