November 28, 2011

People of Hussars - Blazej Piotrowski

The Poznan lacrosse club has been present in Polish sport for four years. However, Hussars are primarily people, people and lacrosse. With this article we begin presenting those, without whom lacrosse wouldn't be here, nor would we - the Poznan Hussars.


Within these four years, the Poznan lacrosse club has evolved from a group of guys “catching butterflies” barely noticeable within their own student body into a dynamically functioning, recognizable and proud winner of the historical first Polish Lacrosse Championship. 


 For everyone who’s interested in the history of Poznan’s lacrosse club even a little, the choice of who will be the first hero of this series of articles should be obvious. Błażej Piotrowski, probably for the first time, came across lacrosse during his stay in the United States. Probably, because the main significance of this incident is neither the time nor the place where it occurred, rather the fact it was this which led Blazej to undertake steps, whose purpose was to introduce the concept of lacrosse into the history of Polish sport.



„I don’t remember myself exactly”, says Blazej, „But I think I saw lacrosse for the first time in the USA in 2006 during my summer ‘Work & Travel’ trip, right after my second year of studies. It was neither a game nor a live practice. I think I saw it on the TV there. After returning to Poland in spring 2007, while I was surfing the net during class [...], I stumbled upon lacrosse for the second time. I remember that I was looking for any signs of it in Poland and only found some contact information to Tomek Kedzia, who mentioned lacrosse only in the context of his stay in the Czech Republic. I got in touch with Tomek the same day [...]”



It was a matter of time and thanks to his charisma that Blazej managed to scrape together quite a large group of people, considering the reality back then, which was the seed of what was to become the Poznan Hussars. The start of the beginning was the successful attempt at contacting the European Lacrosse Federation (ELF), whose result was the first lacrosse workshop in Poznan led by its president – Peter Mundy. The speed of events increased thanks to the Federation’s support. Practices in Poznan and Wroclaw began simultaneously; a steady group of players who came to practice was formed; the first ideas appeared that would allow the hitherto informal group to be regulated within a legal framework, which was supposed to stimulate the development of other lacrosse clubs in Poland. The person who presided over the first Polish lacrosse club was indeed Blazej. 



 It was a period of intensive work, trailblazing and gaining experience. From that moment on, everything that was a first in Polish lacrosse had a direct relation with the group of people from Poznan, with Blazej at the forefront. The first lacrosse game in April 2008, the first Polish tournament in March 2009, the first international tournament in Poland – Poznan Open, the first game of Poland’s national team and the historic performance of Poles in the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England.


Blazej’s recipe for managing the club effectively turned out to be, primarily, persistence in achieving goals and trust in the group of people with whom he worked, supported by great commitment. This approach became the determining factor for further actions taken by the rest of the members, without whom there would be no Poznan Hussars. At some point, due to professional responsibilities, Blazej had to leave his native lands but never lost touch with the team, always giving his support when the team needed it most. He currently fills the ranks of a Dutch lacrosse club – the Rotterdam Jaguars. However, mentally he will always be a Hussar to us all and it’s him to whom we dedicate the championship title won in last season’s round of the Polish Lacrosse League.




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