A diligent mom does her homework for the benefit of her son and a new game becomes part of the Paducah sports scene.
Lauren Flynn is a gentle, soft-spoken kind of woman, but when it comes to her kids being healthy and prepared for college, she means business. You won’t find any of the three Flynn children sitting in front of the television or camped out in front of a video game after school. Instead, Lauren and her husband, Tom, require their children to find physical activities that they love to do.
The two oldest sons had no trouble finding their niche in football and running. But her 13-year-old son, Luke, took more time to explore his options. While living in Atlanta, Luke started playing Lacrosse. It quickly became clear that this would be his sport. Lauren saw his confidence build in the short time he played and was excited to see her son excel.
When the family made the move to Paducah, they knew there would be some adjustments to be made. But you can imagine Luke’s disappointment when he learned that lacrosse was not an available option for him here.
This got Lauren to thinking. Never had she been the person to take the lead on starting a big initiative. But it was important to her that Luke was given the same opportunity as his brothers to connect with an activity that he loved.
Lauren didn’t know the first thing about starting a lacrosse team. She didn’t really know if there would be enough interest among other students in the area to get a team started in Western Kentucky. So she did some research.
In February 2011, she began the application process for a grant offered through US Lacrosse. The grant required Lauren to research the demographics of Western Kentucky and to provide evidence that there was enough interest in Paducah to justify starting a lacrosse team. The intense process took four months to complete. Lauren could not promise her son that anything would come of her efforts, but she promised him she would try her best.
During that timeLauren continued to search for opportunities to keep her son involved in the sport. That summer she took Luke to a True Lacrosse camp in Evansville. They made the two-hour drive there and back every day for a week.
The two spent a lot of time on the road, but it helped connect them to connect with other lacrosse teams in the region. By November, the Flynns were notified that they would receive the grant funds from US Lacrosse to start building the sport in Western Kentucky.
They now had funds to provide equipment for 20 kids to get started. That same month, with support from the Paducah Parks Department, Lauren organized a lacrosse clinic in Paducah with former professional lacrosse player, Bobby Nugent and True Lacrosse.
That first clinic attracted 11 kids, and by the February clinic, attendance had almost doubled with 21 students, both boys and girls.
As awareness and Paducah’s interest in lacrosse grows, Lauren hopes to see a spring league develop here. Tom is working towards certification as a Lacrosse coach and will be the head coach for the Paducah team.
She has seen her own son develop both mentally and in leadership skills.
“Lacrosse is the fastest sport on two feet. It requires both physical and mental strength. I have seen Luke develop as a leader and really find his place,” said Lauren.
For more information on getting involved as a coach or to register a student for future lacrosse clinics contact Lauren Flynn at email@example.com.