A new lacrosse goal from a Wellington company has the potential to give the sport a huge boost in New Zealand, said Ben Gilmore, President of the New Zealand Men’s Lacrosse Association.
Packaworld International Limited has produced an inflatable ‘Packagoal’ as a safe, portable alternative to competition lacrosse goals, which are made of steel and require a trailer to transport.
Mr Gilmore said Lacrosse Packagoals could make a huge difference for the sport of lacrosse in New Zealand by enabling opportunities for social play and training as well as organised competitions.
The Lacrosse Packagoal stood up to the test exceptionally well, Mr Gilmore said.
“I was really impressed. I was actually very sceptical initially, but after giving it a trial I was amazed at how strong it was for something inflatable.”
He said visibility was one of the major challenges for the sport of lacrosse in New Zealand, and a portable alternative offered at a fraction of the price could make all the difference for the growth of the sport.
“The fact it’s a minority sport with no dedicated facilities means it has been difficult to offer on the spur of the moment.
“Portability is huge. Ordinarily you need the strength to carry around a big heavy steel goal, or you’re just playing against a fence. That a 10-year-old could pick one of these up, carry it around, and probably even set it up themselves in their back yard is fantastic.”
Packaworld CEO Peter Roberts said he hoped the goals would improve the visibility of the sport.
“Packaworld produced this product in the hope it will generate more opportunities to play lacrosse and raise the visibility of the sport. More people training and playing socially can only be good for the sport. Once people see what a great game this is, more people will be inspired to play.”
In addition to being portable and durable, Mr Roberts said the inflatable goals had the added a bonus of safety when collisions occurred.
“The men’s game in particular is very physical. In terms of collisions, this is not a case of if but of when. The use of an inflatable goal can help prevent injuries when these collisions occur."
Lacrosse is an ancient Native American game, with origins pre-dating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America. Popularised in the late 1800s, it gained a strong foothold in North America and Canada before arriving in New Zealand in the 1880s.
Mr Gilmore said despite initial popularity in New Zealand, the sport had disappeared after World War I, and while it had undergone something of a resurgence since the year 2000, its growth had been constrained by a lack of knowledge and facilities.
See the goals in action below: