Courtesy Toronto Rock
Toronto Rock forward Reid Reinholdt is about to embark on the experience of a lifetime.? He has the opportunity to help grow the game at the upcoming Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships in Israel from Jul. 12-21 as an assistant coach with China. It’s an experience he said he just couldn’t let slide by.
A native of Pitt Meadows, BC, the 26-year old Reinholdt enjoyed a standout collegiate lacrosse career, winning two national championships, at Limestone College that wrapped up in 2015, and subsequently earned a degree in Business Economics in 2016. Following that, he shifted his focus to pursuing a law degree at Western University in London, ON where he also suited up for the Mustangs, leading the team to Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) titles in 2016 and 2017. ?
It was at Western where he made the connection with fellow Mustang, Ziyan Zeng who helped coach China at the FIL U19 World Championships in 2016. Zeng is slated to suit up for China at the upcoming worlds and he has recruited his university teammate to guide the Chinese offence at lacrosse’s biggest international tournament.
“I’m curious to see all these countries represented on the world stage,” said Reinholdt, a 2-year NLL pro. “I didn’t realize just how many countries around the world are playing lacrosse. There will be 46 countries represented. I couldn’t pass up a chance to be a part of this event.”
Reinholdt’s first exposure to the Chinese players he will be coaching will be when he touches down in China on Canada Day. The team has a four-city, 10-day training camp scheduled that will tour the country with stops in Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan and Shenzhen before heading to Israel to begin the world championships on Jul. 12.
“The first practice will be a quick scrimmage to find out the skill set of our players and then find some chemistry and work on getting some lines together,” explained Reinholdt. “From there, we will figure out a game plan structured around the players and their strengths.”
Joining Reinholdt on the sidelines will be the team’s Head Coach Edwin Yu who also coached China at the last World U19 Championships in 2016. The defensive coach will be one of Reinholdt’s former Limestone teammates, Billy Koelmel of Watertown, NY. The players on the team are a blend of Chinese-Americans that played collegiate lacrosse in the USA and Chinese trained players that draw their lacrosse experience from playing at the prep school level in China.
The Chinese team is ranked second in their three-team pool, which consists of Denmark and the group’s top seed Ireland.
“We want to at least maintain that group ranking with the hopes of finishing higher,” said Reinholdt when speaking about the goals the team is setting for themselves. “Most importantly, we want to expand the game in China and help grow the game. China a is a new program and this is as much about growing the game and setting up the program for success at future world championship events as it is about winning games at this tournament.”
Lacrosse is rapidly growing with youth programs blossoming in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing. Wuhan and Beijing also have University level programs along with the few in Shanghai. China competed at the last FIL World Championships in Denver in 2014 but failed to win a game in three tries. At the FIL U19 worlds in 2016, China finished 5-2, landing them 9th overall.?
“We’re thrilled to have Reid on our coaching staff for this tournament and hope that this is just the beginning of many great coaches to be associated with us going forward,” said Yu. “We hope to be an organization that can continue to attract top level coaches and players to help out with the growth of lacrosse in China, Asia and globally.”?
The Toronto Rock will have other representation at the tournament as well. Rock superstar Tom Schreiber leads Team USA as they try and take back the World title currently held by Team Canada. Rock captain Brodie Merrill and rising star Latrell Harris of the Brock Badgers will help Canada in their attempt to defend the gold medal the country earned in 2014.
China opens the FIL World Field Lacrosse Championships on Thu. Jul. 12 against Ireland.? Be sure to follow the Rock social channels to track Reinholdt’s and Team China’s progress at the worlds. For more information on the tournament, visit worldlacrosse2018.com.