Canada's National Team Members Form Players' Association


Captains Dan Dawson and Joel White of the Canada and U.S. indoor teams, respectively, pose for a ceremonial faceoff opening the Heritage Cup at First Ontario Centre on Oct. 21. Dawson is among Canadian players advocating for greater CLA representation.

Canada’s national team players have united in a quest for change and representation at the leadership level of the Canadian Lacrosse Association, announcing Monday the formation of the National Lacrosse Teams Players’ Association (NLTPA).

A press release issued by the NLTPA emphasized the players’ desire to have a voice in CLA decisions and to assist the national governing body in its efforts to grow the sport.

“It’s exciting to be part of a national team players’ association that is dedicated to growing the game and to giving athletes a voice,” said Dan Dawson, captain of the Canadian indoor team. “Being part of an association that brings players together from both our men’s and women’s teams is also good for lacrosse.”

 “I’m really looking forward to working on the players’ association,” said Katie Guy, a three-time World Cup defender for the Canadian women’s team. “It’s an opportunity to play a leadership role at a time when our sport needs it.”

The announcement comes on the heels of several media reports pointing to discord between the Canadian players and the CLA.

The Peterborough Examiner has been at the forefront, reporting Oct. 22 that the players, coaches and team managers were at odds with the CLA over the lack of funding for the teams — an issue stemming from the CLA having its Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Association status stripped in 2010 due to tax law violations — and inadequate insurance for the players

On the same day, Canadian national teams chairman Dean French and directors Dave Huntley, Gary Gait and Johnny Mouradian signed a letter sent to the CLA board demanding that two top CLA officials resign and improvements be made to the players’ insurance coverage by March 31, threatening otherwise to resign themselves.

Inside Lacrosse produced the example of Cam Holding, who recently tore his ACL during tryouts for the 2018 Canadian national team will not be compensated for lost wages he will incur from missing the National Lacrosse League season with the Colorado Mammoth.

Any player on a national team roster since Jan. 1, 1978, is eligible for NLTPA membership. The association will focus on insurance coverage for players and helping the CLA regain its status as an amateur athletic association so it can issue donation receipts that allow individual and corporate donors to qualify for tax credits, something it has not been able to do since 2010.

Mac Allen, who played for Canada in the 2010 world championship in Manchester, England, is a lawyer at WeirFoulds LLP and has helped the NLTPA prepare bylaws and a constitution.

“Increased communication between the players and lacrosse’s governing body bodes well for the continued growth of Canada’s national summer sport,” Allen said. “The NLTPA provides national team players with formal representation and a collective voice going forward.”

AthletesCAN, an association representing national team athletes in a wide range of sports in Canada, has been recognized by the federal minister responsible for sport and has “proved that good things happen in sport when the athlete voice is heard,” Guy said.

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