NEW YORK—The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) has announced that Chile has become its 60th member nation.
According to FIL development director, Bob Demarco, everyone at the Federation of International Lacrosse is pleased that Chile has been voted in as its 60th member.
“It’s been seven long years since Victor Zenteno, Chile Lacrosse founder and president, began his quest to grow the game in his native country. Now lacrosse is actively thriving at the men’s, women’s and youth levels. It’s quite a story about how perseverance and hard work plus help from many generous sources equals success.”
— Bob DeMarco, FIL Development Director
With its acceptance, Chile becomes FIL’s 14th member from the Americas. FIL members from all regions can be found on the FIL website at https://filacrosse.com/fil-members/.
The journey to membership began in 2010. At the time, Zenteno, while completing his secondary education in Santiago with a focus on a career in athletics, was captivated by the sport of lacrosse while watching it on YouTube. Having never played the sport himself and realizing that it was virtually unknown in Chile, he reached out to lacrosse-playing Chileans living abroad as well as fellow athletes in Chile whom he could begin to train with.
From those early stages, the sport continued to grow gradually as more and more men, women and youth showed up to learn and train. Over time, generous donations of lacrosse equipment from a number of contributors poured in.
Trent Haffler, men’s head coach for Chile Lacrosse, and Vincente Aranguiz, a Chilean who plays lacrosse in Europe, are both instrumental in moving lacrosse from a curiosity to a regional sport for Chile.
Another key figure in Chile Lacrosse is Rodrigo Nakouzi. As one of Chile Lacrosse’s greatest friends, Nakouzi continues to provide generous donations that are fundamental to the continued growth of lacrosse in Chile.