Chiswick Lacrosse Club evolved from ‘St James Lacrosse’ which was started in 1989.
In 2000 we opened the camp to all schools and Chiswick Lacrosse was born, gradually growing by popular demand to 3 weeks. We now have nearly 500 girls each year.
We also started running coaching courses; first Level 1 and umpiring, then in 2012 we started Level 2 courses. These used to be run externally by the ELA and as of 2016 we run them ourselves. Most of the candidates have been enthusiastic girls who regularly came to the camp and when they got to 16 turned their attention to coaching. The qualifications give the opportunity for employment with ourselves as well as other camps and clubs, which is particularly useful as an additional work option for girls going off to university. We offer a unique opportunity for participants to not only to do the theory course but also to stay on at the camp the following week and be mentored right through to their assessment, so they complete the course and qualification within one week.
We now have over 200 level 1 Coaches to call on and an ever increasing 50+ Level 2, with experience from school teams through to national players.
Our two head coaches now have over 28 years of experience between them, in coaching, running the camp and mentoring coaches through to a successful assessment.
The girls who come to play or coach tell us:
- It is ‘The friendly Camp’
- The most enjoyable
- The cheapest
- The coaches get paid more
Chris Southwell – founder and director of Chiswick Lacrosse
I am the Director of Chiswick Lacrosse. I taught for 36 years, 34 of those years were at St James. I retired in 2010 and now live on a small-holding in Wales. (Brynderi).
Though I didn’t qualify in sport it did become a huge part of my life. As well as running St James Lacrosse and then Chiswick Lacrosse I also set up and ran Hammersmith Gym Club which ran for about 9 years.
Apart from bringing up 4 children, I also got heavily involved in fundraising at St James. I organised sponsored events on May Day Bank Holidays and helped raise about £125000 across 6 years. I also organised and fund raised for 3 successful Lacrosse tours of the USA.
I am a firm believer in sport being fun and accessible to as many as possible. In the early days of St James 80% of pupils played in lacrosse teams; because of its size many players had to play in more than one team. Hopefully this passion and enjoyment comes through in Chiswick Lacrosse Camps.
Jessica Southwell – Head Coach & Recruitment
Jes has been involved in the camp for 24 years, 7 as a player and 17 as a coach. She now runs the coaching team, along with Ella, which involves mentoring the new coaches and making sure that the rest of the coaching team are happy, up to speed and coping with their group effectively.
Jes is a level 2 coach and also a qualified Occupational Therapist; she was working in a special needs school before having her two children.
Ella Southwell – Assistant Head Coach
Ella has also been involved for a long time in the camp, 9 years as a player, having had her introduction at age 7, and 10 years as a coach. She is a meticulous organiser and mentor for the coaching team.
She has recently completed a Drawing degree at Falmouth University gaining a First. She has currently gone ‘walkabout’ in NZ and southern Africa, but assures me she will be back for August’s camp.