Police commissioner's lacrosse efforts deserve praise

March 16, 2011

Kudos to Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III and Baltimore police officers for their involvement in the Baltimore City Middle School Lacrosse League ("Police Commissioner Bealefeld brings lacrosse to city schools," March 13).

The BCPD's partnership with the Parks and People Foundation is a wonderful collaboration that will help to provide a quality lacrosse experience for hundreds of Baltimore City students.

It's important to note, however, that middle school lacrosse in Baltimore dates back to 1985, when Harlem Park Middle School launched the first urban middle school lacrosse program in the country, thanks to a grant from Westinghouse.

Four years later, as a result of leadership from US Lacrosse, the sport's Baltimore-based national governing body, and financial support from the Abell Foundation, a six-school Baltimore City Middle School Lacrosse League was formed. It required participating students to maintain specific academic, attendance and behavior requirements in order to remain eligible for play.

The league, now in its 23rd year, has been managed by the Parks and People Foundation since 2001, and US Lacrosse continues to be a primary funder.

Steve Stenersen, Baltimore

The writer is president & CEO of US Lacrosse.

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