An active outdoorsman with interests in ice boating, fishing, skiing, and sailing, Clifford “Cliff” Kigar is currently studying mechanical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Cliff Kigar’s favorite sport is lacrosse.
Despite being one of the oldest sports in North America, Lacrosse hasn’t had much of a presence at the Summer Olympics, having only been a full medal sport in 1904 and 1908. It was a demonstration sport during the Olympic Games in 1928, 1932, and 1948, but hasn’t been part of the Olympic program since. A Canadian team from Winnipeg defeated a local St. Louis team for the gold medal in 1904, while Canada beat its only opponent, Great Britain, to win gold in 1908.
Prior to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the addition of baseball, skateboarding, karate, softball, surfing, and sport climbing to the list of sports on the program in 2020. Presently, the Federation of International Lacrosse is working toward earning IOC recognition in the hopes of being included as an Olympic sport as early as 2024. One of the major roadblocks for Olympic acceptance is the number of countries with national programs. The 2017 World Cup will have as many as 30 countries participating, but the IOC requires a minimum of 40 active countries.
Cliff “Clifford” Kigar has played lacrosse as a member of the Olentangy High School and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute teams. His passion for the sport and for his community has inspired Cliff Kigar to participate in philanthropic activities with Lacrosse the Nations.
Lacrosse the Nations operates as an international community of lacrosse enthusiasts who use their love for the sport to improve educational opportunities and health care for children all over the world. Individuals can get involved with the Lacrosse the Nations (LtN) effort in a number of ways.
As a nonprofit, LtN relies heavily on the support and contributions of volunteers. Volunteer opportunities range from acting as a lacrosse coach for underprivileged youths to assisting in the coordination of LtN fundraisers. For more information on LtN volunteer opportunities and programs, visit http://www.lacrossethenations.org and download the full summary of LtN Team Up opportunities, including the Scoop for Loot and LtN Mini Jam fundraisers.
Individuals who do not have the time to volunteer but still wish to support the LtN cause can make a direct donation to the organization. These donations allow the group to continue using the sport of lacrosse as a teaching tool that imparts important life lessons and contributes to health education. Individuals can make a donation for any amount or make a $160 donation to the one-month nutrition program in Costa Rica. Donations can also be set as recurring monthly gifts.
Not only is lacrosse fun to play, but it also has a rich history, dating back hundreds of years and originating with the Native Americans. Teams consisted of entire Native American villages, and the sport was considered a good preparation for war.
Europeans began playing after they saw the Native Americans compete. The sport received its modern name when Frenchmen thought the playing stick resembled “la crosse,” the curved portion of a bishop’s staff. Canadians began playing in the 19th century, and they soon established a governing body and written rules. Only after the American Civil War did the sport became popular in the United States, and teams often sprang up on college campuses that sponsored ice hockey. In fact, the original rules of hockey derived from Canadian lacrosse rules.
Committees chose collegiate champions until 1971, when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) launched a nationwide tournament. Many colleges have club teams, run by students, existing alongside their varsity counterparts. Today, women’s lacrosse is growing, too; the women’s game is substantially different from men’s lacrosse, with smaller sticks, less protective gear, and prohibitions against body contact.
About Cliff Kigar: When he is not playing lacrosse or competing in cross country at his high school, Cliff Kigar enjoys sailing, skimboarding, swimming, basketball, and playing guitar.