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 down and were quickly joined by other girls who registered for the program.”The Lacrosse team now consists of 13 girls, from Grades 5–10, who practice outdoors twice a week. “The school provided lacrosse balls, and I supported getting the girls their own sticks and mouth guards,”
Ms. Haviland says. “I even assembled a lacrosse goal from PVC piping at home and sewed together the net. Yes, I am really enthusiastic about this!”
“Our team started in late March,” Ms. Haviland continues. ”And it has been really exciting to see both the beginning and more experienced players’ confidence, skills, and knowledge improve substantially with only two practices per week.”
The new sports offerings aren’t just limited to Upper School students. Field hockey has been offered and taught through REAL since last fall with the ‘Funkey Hockey’ program for students from Pre-Primary to Grade 2. “Growing up in Holland, I played field hockey my whole life,” says FIS parent and ‘Funkey Hockey’ coach, Margreet Boon. “I have two daughters at FIS, in Pre-Primary (PP) and Grade 2, and when we arrived at FIS last year I noted there were no outdoor sports offered via the REAL program for kids in this age group. The Royal Dutch Hockey Federation (KNHB) has
a practice program for four to six year olds, and so the idea of coaching ‘Funkey Hockey’ was born.”
Ms. Boon says that Mr. Erickson very much welcomed her initiative, and she has coached groups of Pre-Primary/Primary and Grade 1–2 kids in all three REAL terms this school year. Since outside space wasn’t available during the first two terms due to the demands of the school’s athletic program, teams played inside using indoor hockey sticks from school. Following success there, Ms. Boon has continued the offering this term with the
same age groups, but has happily moved outdoors.
Coaching a dozen young students alone comes with some challenges. “Their concentration span is limited,” Ms. Boon says. “Each term I start with
a new group building up the basics, and some convincing skills are required as the children would rather play games than do exercises, but the feedback is really rewarding. The kids and their parents are enthusiastic; for the younger group there is even a waiting list. I would love to continue this program, and starting up a Middle School team is one of my dreams as well. I would be happy to coach if that kite would fly.”
The new offerings illustrate the school’s flexibility and willingness to provide unique opportunities for interested students. “As a school we welcome all ideas that are brought to the table,” says Mr. Erickson. “We strive to make our after school offerings as diverse and extensive as possible, and the REAL program offers a great platform for these kinds of new introductions.”
Longevity is always determined by reactions on the field, talk with the coaches, and parent feedback, but if the enthusiasm – both from players and coaches – for girls rugby and lacrosse, and ‘Funkey Hockey’ are any indication, it’s likely that the courses will continue to ‘play on’ at FIS.
Corrie Korink-Zoetekouw FIS Parent
Coach Sue Haviland assesses players' skills
in scooping up
the ball (above); shooting practice for 'Funkey Hockey' players (below).
  June 2018 FIS World 13

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