PC Lax Coaches Teaching in Japan
Penn Charter lacrosse coaches Joey Sankey OPC '11 and Colleen Magarity traveled to Japan last week to coach lacrosse. Sachiyo Yamada, owner of Cross Crosse, organized the trip and event with a goal to have some of the best male and female lacrosse players from the U.S. teach in universities in Japan.
Magarity and Sankey, shown above, started the trip coaching at the Lacrosse Sunflower Cup in Okayama, a tournament that attracted 600 male and 600 female Japanese college players; the girls trained with Magarity and Alex Aust and the boys trained with Sankey, Scott Ratliff and Matt Gibson. They would participate in full-length games when they were not with the U.S. coaches. At the end of the tournament, the top three teams were able to play against the U.S. coaches and other players from the Japan National Team.
After the Sunflower Cup in Okayama, they went to Kyoto for sightseeing and to meet with the mayor of Kyoto. Kyoto has never had lacrosse clinics or games on their playing fields. In the meeting they had to explain the sport of lacrosse and how fast the sport has grown across America and the rest of the world. The mayor approved the Cross Crosse company request to use the Kyoto playing fields for clinics and games in the future.
From Kyoto the group went to Tokyo to run one last men's and women's training session at the main soccer stadium in Tokyo.
"This was truly an amazing experience and trip," Magarity said. "Every single person I met was so kind and respectful. The Japanese players were the most hardworking, diligent and appreciative group of girls. They showed such a desire to learn and try exactly what I was coaching. They were extremely talented, and it was a honor to meet and work with so many teams."
Magarity said that, despite the language barrier, "people would go out of their way to help and make sure we had everything we needed at all times. I learned so much from the culture and the people that I will take with me for the rest of my life."
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