School in Harlem playing Lacrosse

December 24, 2009 3:47:48 PM PST
A school in Harlem is introducing their students to the game of lacrosse. Most of the Harlem students had never heard of lacrosse before the sport was introduced at their school.

"We all put a lot into it and we all try really hard. It also helps you in school, helps you better yourself and helps you stay off the streets." said Jemir Toussaint.

The Future Leaders Institute Charter School team is the only lacrosse program at a middle school in the city and believed to be the only team in Harlem.

The kids are coached by lacrosse expert and longtime organizer of the sport, Bob Turco.

"Your knee-jerk reaction would be, it wouldn't work n the inner city and that thought has turned out to be completely wrong," says Turco.

The reputation of lacrosse as a suburban sport for the wealthy is not consistent with its beginnings. Not everyone knows that it was named by the French, but created Native American tribes.

The F.L.I. team competes against other teams in the tri-state area.

Jasmine Lee is the only girl on the team. "I like the fact that I get to enjoy it with all my friends and they treat me like one of the guys instead just acting like I'm a girl, and treating me different and so I easily get scores," said Lee.

Members of the lacrosse team have a 100 percent attendance rate at school.

"And if they don't get their work done, they're not going to be able to play lacrosse, so it's been a motivation for them to be more focused in the school," said Principal Peter Anderson.