It’s about time. That was the response from Grande Prairie Lacrosse Association President Ron Regnier after it was announced that lacrosse would be added as a sport for the 2021 Canada Games.

“Lacrosse is Canada’s national sport [and] it’s the oldest team sport in North America. I think it’s about time that the government is starting to recognize that a little bit more and put a little more funding towards promoting the sport.”

The Canadian Government says it will provide up to $1.7 million to add men’s and women’s box lacrosse to the schedule on a pilot project basis. The goal is to increase Indigenous participation in the games.

Regnier says lacrosse is often considered a fringe sport that is looked at as a secondary sport. He hopes this addition will change that.

“For us, anytime that we can see a little bit more lacrosse highlighted a little bit more it hopefully allows us to bring a more people into the fold and have people think of lacrosse as their prime sport.”

The Grande Prairie Lacrosse Association has been running in the city since 2003. There are currently seven teams and about 105 players. The 2021 Canada Summer Games will be held in the Niagara Region, Ontario August 6th to the 21st.