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The Friendship League

Will the Friendship League run trips for other sports besides hockey?

We’ve had a fair amount of our followers reach out to us over the past few weeks asking if we would ever consider running trips to our unique destinations to play their favorite sport.  Interestingly, the somewhat niche sport of box lacrosse has prompted the most inquiries. This was great news to Friendship League Manager Scott Howe, who grew up playing box lacrosse and considers it to be one of his favorite sports. The truth is, we would love to grow the Friendship League and host events for a broad range of sports. But first, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Ice hockey is unique – in a lot of the countries that we visit to play ice hockey, there are significant barriers faced by local players looking to grow the game. Facilities may be very limited, thereby reducing the amount of ice time available. Equipment is quite expensive and often not available locally, which makes it difficult to grow the sport, particularly in less-advantaged communities. Furthermore, the sport may not be very well-known locally which makes extra media attention very valuable. These conditions allow the Friendship League to make a major impact through our efforts, as we bring fresh competition, equipment donations and often times, plenty of media attention. It may not be possible for us to have the same impact for all sports.
  2. Hockey players are adventurous – we’ve never figured out what it is, but there’s something about the sport of hockey that makes players excited about playing internationally. Maybe it’s the uniqueness of the facilities internationally. Perhaps it’s the novelty of skating on ice in countries that are tropical. Or maybe hockey players are just extra cool! Whatever it is, if we do expand, we need to find sports with a similar dynamic.
  3. Friendship-style sports – part of what makes our events unique is that no matter where you come from, you’ll leave the event with a bunch of new friends. Whether it’s getting to know your new international friends in the locker room and on the tour, or meeting interesting local players in the Friendship Game or at the Friendship Banquet, there’s no shortage of opportunities to make friends. As cool as the sport of bobsledding is, the same dynamic might not be possible.

If after reading this, you have a new sport in mind, we’d love to hear your ideas and work together to make it happen. If you have a team of players out there, we can make a trip happen! Be it hockey, lacrosse, basketball, soccer, bandy, handball or any other sport, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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