Swapping the desk for San Diego: Tom to represent wales
Meet Tom Porter, a staff member at the University of Birmingham who this June will represent Wales on the international lacrosse stage.
Competing in the World Championships in San Diego, California, he will join 30 of the best teams in the world across 11 days of fixtures.
A current Project Manager at the School of Engineering at the University, read his story below….
My Journey to Lacrosse
I first picked up a lacrosse stick at Loughborough University in 2013 having never previously heard of the sport. I found that I had a natural fit for the defensive position, and I played for 2 seasons during my time at Loughborough. However, upon graduating due to the lack of lacrosse in the Midlands at the time I left the sport for a couple of years. In 2018 I was part of a group of people who gathered in Nuneaton to see if it was possible to form a local lacrosse club.
This group of people would go on to become some of my best friends and we formed Nuneaton Lacrosse Club which now thrives with 2 men’s teams and a women’s team. I fulfil the role as the Club Captain at Nuneaton Lacrosse Club, and I am incredibly proud of the work we do to promote the sport in the Midlands.
My Journey to Wales
During 2018 the previous World Championships were held in Netanya, Israel. At the time a friend managed to secure a spot on the Wales Lacrosse team for those championships.
This ignited my desire to try out for my Country. In late 2018 I attended open trials for Wales Lacrosse and was successful at my first attempt in breaking into the Wales squad as a defender. I was a member of the Wales team that attended the Home Internationals tournament in 2019 and won that title beating England & Scotland.
I was then again successful in being selected for what we all thought was going to be the 2020 European Championships. However, Covid-19 had other plans and these games were postponed. It was a significantly challenging time, Wales Lacrosse is recognised as an elite sport by Sport Wales so we were able to continue training as lockdowns eased but there was huge commitments to home workouts and zoom meetings with teammates.
Finally in 2022 these games were rescheduled, and I went to the European Lacrosse Qualification Tournament in Poland. Wales won all 5 of our games in Poland and were the first European nation to earn their qualification spot at the World Championships. At this tournament I also scored my first points for Wales recording a goal and 2 assists across our games. During 2023 I have again represented Wales at the Home Internationals tournament, recording a victory against Scotland and narrowly loosing out on the title against England.
Now the Welsh team are on their way to the World Championships in San Diego, California. Where we will compete against 30 of the best teams in the world. Across 11 days of competition, we will face a tough Group B draw which see’s Wales take on Uganda, France, Denmark & number 6 in the world ranked Japan. The top 2 countries from this group will carry on with chances to take the overall title of World Champions.
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