2011 Navy Women's Lacrosse Summer Highlights

"As athlete, sometimes going through all the practices and workouts can start to become mundane and you can forget that inner passion that you have for the game. But through teaching these children lacrosse and watching them enjoy it, I was really able to reconnect with my passion for the game of lacrosse through them."

Like King, head coach Cindy Timchal appreciates the idea of sharing the game with people all around the world.

"It's so special that you can go to a different culture in South Africa and actually introduce a game that we all love and enjoy here in the United States. Especially a game that we are so passionate about here in Maryland and at the Naval Academy," said Timchal.

Eventually her time at Beam was over and King returned home to the United States. But her departure did not mean the end of the lacrosse careers of so many young children in South Africa. King donated all the lacrosse equipment they brought to Beam for the kids to continue to use.

Below are three capsules written by members of the Navy women's lacrosse team describing how they spent their summer blocks.

Claire Olechowski
Junior | Defender | Annapolis, Md.
Major: English

This summer I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in one of our school's language study abroad programs. I traveled to Spain for the month of July to study the language, the culture and the history. I lived with a host family for the first three weeks, which were spent in Salamanca, and scrambled to adapt to the new city and culture. Salamanca was full of other international students and we met kids from Germany, Slovenia, England, Switzerland and elsewhere.

Our weekends were incredible. We got to spend time in Madrid and even Portugal (where we ate - gulp - snails). There were new, crazy things to see and try everywhere we went. At the Spanish Naval Academy graduation, we met the Prince of Spain, and had the chance relate to students just like us in a completely different world. They showed us how to live it up in Spain; we attended the Academy's celebration ball that started at 12:30 AM!

Finally, we ended our stay with an amazing trip to Barcelona, which has a culture extremely unique and vibrant, as if the rest of the country weren't already impressive enough. My favorite part of the city was the color that seemed to be everywhere we looked. From buildings to parks to statues, everything was filled with life and color.

I am really grateful that I had this opportunity (even though they do not have lacrosse over there). Just talking about it makes me want to go back. I learned so much about people and a fabulous culture, and my Spanish improved a lot. It helped me to appreciate living here, and also allowed me to understand and appreciate the differences in cultures everywhere.

Aimee Gennaro
Sophomore | Attack | Havertown, Pa.
Major: English

During first block this summer, I had the chance to be a squad leader during Summer Seminar, where I was responsible for 10 high school students, giving them a taste of life as a midshipman at the Naval Academy. It was by far the best leadership training I have ever experienced.

During my second block, I truly learned the meaning of the phrase "Join the Navy, See the World," as I was sent to Japan for three weeks to follow an enlisted sailor on the USS Tortuga (LSD 46). Myself and two other midshipmen from the Naval Academy met the ship in Okinawa, Japan, home of some of the prettiest beaches in the Pacific.

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