‘Cultivate your alumni,’ says former Subiaco lacrosse player and coach Jon Sacks. It’s the big lesson to be taken from the US college system of which he is a product, and he’s happy to walk the talk. From his home in Washington DC, he’s now on the Foundation’s steering committee more than 25 years after he set foot on the Subiaco lacrosse field in the 1990s.
“The alumni are such an important part of the energy and spirit, and financial well-being, of a club,” says the University of Pennsylvania graduate. “People want to belong to something. One thing I’ve learned in years of volunteering as a coach is that most people want to help with a cause they care about, but they need to be asked.
“That’s the message for the club – start asking the alumni to be a part of the club, to contribute to its well-being and support it in any way they can.”
Jon says Australia’s neighbourhood-based club system (versus the more elitist school and college-based system in the US) makes for a more fun, more egalitarian club life. “Players really have to contribute to make the club function,” he says, adding that the Subiaco Lacrosse Foundation is a vital step towards the club’s continued viability and growth. “The alumni will get on board if there’s good leadership and a credible plan to get behind.”