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This article was published 25/5/2020 (279 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A West St. Paul woman will make her Canada Summer Games debut next year as head coach of the Manitoba U17 girls lacrosse team.
Kim Winzoski, 48, has never played lacrosse, but her knowledge of the sport comes from various roles she’s filled over the years, such as president of North Winnipeg Falcons Lacrosse, co-coaching with her children, and secretary of the Red River Lacrosse Association.
Over the past five years, Winzoski said, she has worked to promote the sport and recruit athletes in Manitoba, especially rare-to-find female players.
"There is maybe a dozen girls that play lacrosse in the province, maybe 20," she said. "So we’re starting from scratch with the girls team. Because I have the recruitment experience they asked me to be the head coach."
The 2021 summer games, scheduled for August 6 to 21 in Niagara, Ont., will feature box lacrosse for the first time since 1985. The federal government has pledged up to $1.7 million to support the pilot project.
Winzoski, who is participating in coach training, will lead the team with assistant coaches Don Jacks and John Harding, and manager Daina Ojala.
The box lacrosse season typically takes place between April and July, but that’s been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With just over one year before the games — an unknown chunk of that time will be missed due to the outbreak — Winzoski is first focusing on finding players for Team Manitoba, whose roster can include up to 18 players: 16 runners and two goalies.
"It’s just getting the word out there that lacrosse exists and girls can play lacrosse," she said. "Most of the girls that are coming out to our camps have only picked up a stick in the last few months."
When it comes to building a team, Winzoski plans to keep this in mind:
"Getting a team that has great culture within itself; that the girls will build each other up and know each other’s strengths."
Athletes interested in playing lacrosse can visit mbgirlslacrosse.ca/
The Times community journalist
If The Buggles’ 1979 breakout single were about Sydney, it might be called Print Killed the Radio Star. Before she joined Canstar Community News, Sydney was an anchor and a reporter for a few local news radio stations in rural Manitoba. After realizing she enjoyed writing more than speaking, Sydney moved to Winnipeg just months after graduating from Carleton University in Ottawa with degrees in journalism and geography. Through clenched teeth and frostbitten fingers, she has come to appreciate Winnipeg — numbing winters and all. When she’s not in the newsroom, Sydney can be found playing card games, listening to music, and writing content for her friends who are too cheap to hire a PR team. Sydney has a strong heart for community news and believes every neighbourhood, town and city is better off because of it — although she may be biased. Sydney loves learning about communities and what makes them tick, which is why she’s grateful to be a reporter covering northwest Winnipeg neighbourhoods, where resilience and innovation is abundant. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org