Hello there folks, and welcome to our new blog here on the LAXALLSTARS.COM
network. We are Turkey Lacrosse, and we are the first Muslim lacrosse country. Turkey Lacrosse started back in 2009 when I (Patrick Dougherty) moved to Istanbul from the US, and when I did some research prior to my move, I learned that this country didn’t have the best sport in the entire world: lacrosse. So I decided at that moment to bless Turkey with our sport, which has touched all of us in many ways.
I started playing lacrosse when I was 12 in Upstate NY in the Binghamton area and was years behind everyone else. A good friend of mine at the time, Corey Bryant, gave me one of his sticks and that summer I never put it down. I haven’t put it down since either!
I eventually ended up playing for the Tampa Bay Thunder Men’s Club in Florida for a few years and while there, I co-sponsored an event called LAXBLAST with the Thunder. This event had over 700 kids from around Florida playing in Tropicana Field where the pro baseball team, Tampa Rays, play. It was at the time the largest youth lacrosse event in Florida’s history and I guess this was the start of my career as a missionary for the sport. I used
to own a Timeshare/Vacation property company at this time and one of our slogans was “TRAVEL THE WORLD. PLAY LACROSSE!” So I have to say that in every aspect of my life, I tend to incorporate lacrosse in some way, shape, or form.
Now, the main question I am asked today and for the last few years is, “Why did you move to Turkey and why did you start lacrosse there?” It’s a good question. Let me explain the first part of the commonly asked question. It is quite simple actually; I married a beautiful Turkish woman and had some business dealings over here. In 2008/2009 when the economy in the US
was faltering greatly (and the world for that matter), Turkey was still on an uptick and we decided to leave the US for a while to come here.
Now the second part of the question as to why I started lacrosse in Turkey is also a simple one. I wanted to play, plain and simple. I did research for months prior to our move and checked and checked and noticed NO lacrosse was being played whatsoever in the country. I said to myself that I can not move to country that doesn’t have lacrosse, what am I suppose to do with my addiction and passion?
Then the light went off in my head, I will just start the sport there and as self serving as it was, I did. People think I did this for spreading the game and yes, this is true but the first reason was so I can still play the sport I love and needed to feed my addiction.
So in August 2009, my beautiful bride and I moved to Istanbul and in October 2009, Turkey Lacrosse was born. We now have teams in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Alanya.
Alanya University is the first university in Turkey’s lacrosse history to fully fund their men’s and women’s program and we are in the process of getting their equipment over here. We are searching right now for someone who wants to come to Turkey to teach at an affluent private school in Ankara so we can start our very first primary school lacrosse program.
We are still small compared to other lacrosse nations but we are steadily growing and making moves. We are hosting our second ever tournament in September on the Mediterranean Coast and looks like it will be one of the largest tournaments for field lacrosse in Europe this year.
From this time forth, we will be posting on our blog, thanks to LAXALLSTARS for hooking us up, about everything Turkey Lacrosse and really anything lacrosse related in Europe and beyond. I will win you all over with my opinion on subjects that you may or may not agree with, but the point is to involve an active dialogue, so please do not hesitate to call me out on anything so we may have a constructive debate offline or online!
We chose LAXALLSTARS for our blog for a few reasons, one being they have helped us in many ways to promote what we are doing over here in Turkey and honestly, they are truly helping to grow the game on all fronts in all parts of the world. Not to mention, they are bunch of great guys who have a passion just like me/us about lacrosse.
I am keeping this initial blog rather short as you will all get to know Turkey Lacrosse and me on a grander scale as the weeks, months and years go by. Anyone who actually knows me knows that I can ramble on and on about lacrosse so you all have been forewarned and thank you for reading and hopes you will find our blog interesting to keep coming back.
Thanks for being part of the Turkey Lax revolution!!
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