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Warriors Teaching Lacrosse and Life Lessons Through Stick to School Program

When Reid Bowering and Owen Grant aren’t on the floor serving punishing cross checks and scooping up loose balls, the defensive duo are in the community sharing the sport they love with kids around the Lower Mainland. 

Recently, the duo was joined by special guest and fellow Warriors’ defenceman Matt Beers at Kanaka Creek Elementary in Maple Ridge. 

The Warriors’ defensive contingent teaches the students about the Indigenous roots of lacrosse, the history, and the rules of the game. The students also get a sneak peek into the meaning behind the Warriors’ logo and the five core values of Warriors lacrosse. 

Some of the students get hands-on experience and participate in a loose ball challenge as well as a passing challenge with either Team Owen or Team Reid. The two Warriors cap off the hour-long session with some shooting of their own and a couple of stick tricks that dazzle the kids, giving way to long autograph lines that snake around the gymnasium when the session is over. 

Between October 2023 and April 2024 the Warriors will visit 80 schools around the Lower Mainland as part of their Stick to School program. 

At these sessions the kids feed off the passion Bowering, Grant and Beers have for lacrosse and the three defencemen enjoy getting more kids excited about the sport and it’s special to see the impact they have on young people. 

“I found lacrosse through friends, and I never experienced anything like this in school, so it’s pretty cool to now pass this on and introduce more kids to the sport that’s given me everything,” Grant said. “It’s good for kids this age to understand that if you do really invest in school and take it seriously, it can open more doors than what they might realize at 10 or 12 years old. It could completely change the rest of their life.” 

“It’s really cool to see what Reid or Owen says during these presentations resonates with these kids and actually translates into them picking up sticks and coming out to games,” Beers shared. 

The 25-year-old Bowering remembers being inspired in elementary school by B.C. Lions players who did school visits, and it’s come full circle for him when kids come out to Warriors because of the Stick to School program. 

The Warriors’ defencemen say the program is another method to drive home values for students to know the importance of staying in school, a healthy lifestyle and sharing a common interest with people that could turn out to be lifelong friends. 

“It could be lacrosse that you’re passionate about, or it could be playing an instrument. Anything that you enjoy doing that keeps you going, is easier to work hard at when things get tough. The bigger message at the end of the day is to find your passion and follow that,” Bowering said. 

All three rearguards have represented Team Canada in Lacrosse, Beers taking home gold at the 2019 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships held in Langley. Bowering earned a scholarship to Drexel University, tying Drexel’s record for career goals with 147, and was selected second overall in the 2020 NLL Entry Draft. Grant, 23, is a decorated University of Delaware field lacrosse player selected third overall in the 2022 NLL Entry Draft. 

The trio are not only fierce defenders on the floor but also role models and passionate advocates for lacrosse as they continue to inspire young minds and connect with students across the Lower Mainland. 

Vancouver Warriors