Story courtesy Bob Hoselton
Anyone at the 2014 World Championships in Denver, came away with the realization that lacrosse has truly become a world sport.
This year, Budapest, Hungary is hosting the 2016 European Lacrosse Championships. For two weeks, perennial favorites like England, Germany and Israel step onto the same field as newcomers Russia, Slovenia and Denmark in a combination of camaraderie, competition and celebration.
Over 500 players gather on the grounds of St. Stephen’s University proudly sporting the colours of 24 nations. Amongst those teams is Slovakia’s red, white and blue jersey imprinted with Gerlach, the highest mountain in the Tatras. The Slovaks don’t expect to win, but their love of lacrosse matches that of any Canadian laxer.
If you take a close look at the team, you’ll notice among the blue helmets, one black helmet with a Carleton Ravens’ crest. That helmet belongs to Noah Hoselton, Carleton Raven and Slovak attackman. “The Slovak helmet is too small so I decided to put on my Ravens’ bucket,” explains Hoselton.
Noah, whose mother is Slovak, is a dual citizen and holds both Canadian and Slovak passports. “Playing for Slovakia has been the highlight of my lacrosse career. It gives me a chance to travel the world, connect with my heritage and play lax,” says Noah, a Civil Engineering student at Carleton University.
This is Noah’s fourth tournament with Team Slovakia. “It’s been great. I’ve had the chance to play with the team since 2010 at the Worlds in Manchester, England,” he says. He’s represented Slovakia at the 2012 Euros in Amsterdam and again at the 2014 Worlds in Denver as well. “I’ve grown with the team. And, each time the team gathers together, I see how the Slovak-born guys have improved.”
Noah was named one of the Slovak team captains in 2016 and leads the team in scoring. “We have a young team this time. Our focus right now is on player development and I’m glad to help out any way I can.”
Noah encourages anyone who is eligible to contact their national teams. “It’s a great experience.” A team can dress three “heritage” players — players who do not hold the passport of that country but can prove that one of their parents or grandparents were born in that country. The balance of the players, like Noah, must hold a passport of the country they represent.