MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - A lacrosse group in the Twin Cities is getting a boost in the form of $50,000.
Tuesday, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee unveiled the grant, as part of its 52 weeks of giving campaign, leading up to Super Bowl 52.
Twin Cities Native Lacrosse is a club that promotes resilience and well-being in youth through the sport of lacrosse; through physical, spiritual and emotional aspects and connecting people with the land. The group was established in 2014.
"We’re really seeing this sense of community and bonding over this game that we haven’t seen in other sports," said John Hunter, a coach. He says about 100 people participate now, but the grant will allow numbers to increase.
The team bought a new van with the money, which Hunter says will allow the group to double in participation and the amount of equipment it uses. It will also allow teams to travel more regionally to compete, to states such as North Dakota and Wisconsin.
It will also, for the first time, travel to Toronto this summer to compete in the North American Indigenous Games.
So far, more than $600,000 in grant money has been given out in the 11 weeks of the campaign by the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee to promote wellness in youth.
Dana Nelson, Vice President, Legacy and Community Partnerships with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee calls the effort "unprecedented." She said no other Super Bowl hosts have done a campaign this long.
"We want to make sure that we're engaging kids and families from across Minnesota so when that game is played on Feb. 4, 2018, they say, ‘Hey I'm a part of that. That was really important to me and they came to my neighborhood,'” said Nelson.