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Scott Ratliff is Traveling the World and Changing Kids’ Lives through Lacrosse

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others.'” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

PLL Archers’ LSM Scott Ratliff is making a habit of asking himself this question every day.

Nearly three years ago, the Loyola alum and NCAA national champion found himself on a plane to Nicaragua, headed to a small town where most kids don’t have their own lacrosse stick, let alone know how to play. He spent several weeks there, teaching and playing with the kids. He came back with a new passion and drive to share his love for lacrosse with the world—and a new appreciation for the sports' power to shape lives.

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

After several other trips and teaming up with fellow Team STX athletes Marcus Holman, Will Manny, and more, he co-founded The Give & Go Foundation to empower underserved communities worldwide. Ratliff shares how he's using his love for lacrosse to connect, change lives, and bring hope to other parts of the world:

It's pretty much every lacrosse player’s dream to do exactly what you're doing — travel the world and play lacrosse. How did you make that dream your reality?

I began traveling abroad in 2016 and the first two trips I took were both lacrosse-related trips. One was to Nicaragua, and another one was to coach a series of clinics in Japan through an organization called “Crosse Crosse.”

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

At the same time, my teammates Marcus Holman and Adam Ghitelman were traveling through Europe. They decided to use the power of social media to connect with local lacrosse players and set up free clinics. For about two years we did this, all taking different trips and coaching lacrosse everywhere we went. Eventually, we began to see the impact the clinics were having on the communities and we realized we could make an even greater impact by helping to provide resources to start and maintain lacrosse programs. That realization is what ultimately led to the creation of the Give & Go Foundation.

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

What’s The Give & Go Foundation all about?

The mission of The Give & Go Foundation is to empower underserved lacrosse communities worldwide. Lacrosse has provided an incredible amount of value in my life personally. Our goal through this foundation is to provide as many people, in as many places, with the opportunity to play the sport of lacrosse and to learn all of the incredible values it’s taught us.

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

Can you share a few of your favorite memories from your most recent trip to Central America?

My favorite part of the trip is undoubtedly coaching the kids. To see the joy and appreciation on their face to learn and play something new is really special. At the end of our clinics in Panama, we awarded a stick to the most dedicated player. Before we left, his mom found us to tell us he hasn’t put the stick down or stopped practicing. Those moments are what make these trips special. 

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

What are some of the coolest things you've been able to do in your travels?

Going to Ushuia, Argentina was one of the coolest things I’ve been able to do. It’s actually where we came up with the name The Give & Go Foundation. Ushuia is the most southern city on earth and we experienced a day with 22 hours of sunlight — it was an inspiring getaway that reminded me of how many amazing places this sport has taken me.

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

What's it like to see a kid who's never played lacrosse before pick up a lacrosse stick?

Watching a kid experience lacrosse for the first time is one of the greatest things in the world. The challenge, the creativity, and, most of all, the fun that kids have when they begin to experiment with a stick is what it’s all about.

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

What other cities/countries are on your list?

Next up is Copenhagen, Denmark. We also have plans to bring Give & Go to Colombia within the year, as well as sponsoring a group of Utah Lacrosse players to coach in Lisbon, Portugal and Barcelona, Spain this summer.

How can young players get involved?

The best way to get involved is to reach out to us via our website GiveGoFund.com or on Instagram @givegofund and Twitter @GiveGoFund. We have opportunities to run fundraisers, donate gear, as well as apply to take your own Give & Go trip.

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

What's the most rewarding part of working to grow the game in underserved communities?

Having experienced firsthand the impact lacrosse has had on my life, it’s extremely rewarding to know that we’re helping to provide that same experience to others. We’ve heard from hundreds of people who have attended our clinics and fallen in love with the sport of lacrosse. This love can help inspire people to change their lifestyle habits for the better, it can help people to heal from stressful or challenging situations in life, and most of all it allows them to tap into a worldwide community of lacrosse players who are always there to love and support them. 

[Photo Credit: Josh Rottman | @josh_rottman]

Follow Scott Ratliff’s Give & Go adventures on Instagram at @scottratliff2 and @givegofund.

For more on how lacrosse players are making a difference in the world and how you can make your mark, click here.

This summer, catch Ratliff hitting the field with the PLL Archers! Suit up like the star LSM with the Stallion 700 Head, Hammer 700 Shaft, and Surgeon 700 protective gear.