Rand: Swarm connects with Native American roots

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 27, 2012 - 7:06 AM

The Swarm is halfway into a two-year initiative at the Prairie Island reservation to help kids re-connect with the game their ancestors played.

hide

Brian Kimmell, the Native American Lacrosse Coordinator for the Minnesota Swarm, instructed kids during a practice.

Photo: Courtesy Of Minnesota Swarm, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview largerrr

Promotions are the lifeblood of pre-game and halftime entertainment at sporting events. Objectives can vary greatly -- from quick laughs to an attempt at education -- but few would seem to have the depth as the one being offered this weekend at Xcel Energy Center.

The Minnesota Swarm pro lacrosse team has its home opener at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Buffalo Bandits. In conjunction with that, the Swarm is promoting Native American Heritage Night. Native American kids will play lacrosse pre-game. Local tribal communities will be honored. Halftime will feature a traditional lacrosse match -- the version originally played hundreds of years ago by Native Americans.

The bigger picture, however, extends beyond just one night. The Swarm is halfway into a two-year initiative at the Prairie Island reservation to help kids re-connect with the game their ancestors played. Swarm representatives travel southeast of the Twin Cities multiple times a week to give instruction and lead games.

"And it's not just lacrosse," said Swarm co-owner Andy Arlotta. "We've incorporated all kinds of things into the program. We're dealing with accountability, getting good grades and goal-setting sessions. The kids are really grasping hold of it."

The Swarm's program has been so well received that it was recently recognized at the White House and is being adopted by other organizations around the country, Arlotta said. The program runs year-round, with this obviously being the indoor season (even with the recent balmy weather).

Brian Kimmell is the Swarm's Native American Lacrosse Coordinator and heads the club at Prairie Island. Corbyn Tao, a Swarm rookie and member of the Nishga tribe, also recently began making regular instructional appearances.

"I'm enjoying it a lot," Tao said. "I'm just excited to be able to contribute to it and be a role model. ... The dedication and belief of the kids stick out. They've only been playing for a year, but they're really open-minded. I tell them to try something, and they're willing to give it a shot."

Said Arlotta: "If we can put someone like [Tao] in front of them, that's a great role model."

  • related content

  • Swarm 2012 home schedule

    Friday January 27, 2012

    All home games at Xcel Energy Center. See www.mnswarm.com for ticket information

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: P. Maholm 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 12
San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos 9 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Manship 6
Texas - LP: N. Tepesch 1 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: J. Francis 2
Boston - LP: J. Peavy 3 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 7
Miami - WP: J. Turner 6 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 5
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks 6
Cincinnati - LP: S. LeCure 3 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: F. Rodriguez 4
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: Y. Pino 2
Kansas City - WP: B. Chen 7 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 1
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 2
Washington - WP: C. Stammen 7 FINAL
Colorado - LP: B. Brown 4
Detroit - LP: P. Coke 4 FINAL
Arizona - WP: E. De La Rosa 5
Houston - WP: D. Downs 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: F. Abad 2
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 4 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: M. Morin 2
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 1
Calgary 7/24/14 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Winnipeg 7/25/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Tulsa 93 FINAL
San Antonio 95
Atlanta 108 FINAL
Minnesota 112
Indiana 57 FINAL
Chicago 60
Phoenix 89 FINAL
Seattle 71

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which uniform will Kevin Love wear next season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close