Editor’s Note: Amanda Tuck lives in Ashkelon, Israel and she will play midfield for the blue-and-white. She is competing in honor of IsraAID. The following is Amanda’s reflection on what representing Israel means to her and includes an explanation of why she has chosen to support IsraAID in conjunction with the Israel Lacrosse Tzedakah Program. Follow this link to support Amanda, IsraAID, and Israel Lacrosse.
“The most exciting part of this journey for me is to be able to compete alongside two of my former players that I coached in the U19 World Championships in Scotland in 2015. As an assistant coach for the U19s, I had an enormous role in recruiting and training the girls. I feel that I especially bonded with these two and cannot wait to see them compete in England. They have worked so incredible hard and have been so dedicated to learning the game and bettering themselves. They are not only great players that deserve to be on this team, but they are great advocates for the sport, our program, and growing the game internationally.
After opening ceremonies in Scotland, all the teams were waiting in the parking lot following the Opening Ceremonies. It was a dreary, wet, and cold day and we were not prepared for the weather. The girls were cold and tired. One of our players had her speaker and began dancing in the parking lot with some of the other players. Soon after, girls from other teams joined in, dragging their teammates over to dance with the Israelis. Due to security concerns, we were not wearing any Israel gear. Our girls were wearing inside-out sweatsuits, dancing with players from New Zealand, USA, Japan, Germany, Colombia and other nations.
At that point I came to realize that the international lacrosse community is so much more than the games we were about to play. It was about the experience that we would endure, learn from, and enjoy. To see my girls who I had coached and led the past year come together and spread the spirit of inclusion and sportsmanship meant everything to me. It was the proudest and most humbling moment of my life.
I will be competing in honor of IsraAID, a non-governmental organization committed to providing life-saving disaster relief and long-term support to those in need regardless of their religion, race, or ethnic background. The organization has a “boots on the ground” program and have responded to crises in over 35 countries. While they send Israeli professionals to disaster zones, they have also trained over 5,000 local professionals in order to ensure sustainability of their program. I am so proud to be playing for IsraAID as they represent what it truly means to be a global citizen and an Israeli.” – AT
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