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New West lacrosse tournament celebrates women and girls in BC lacrosse

Dedicated to Dorothy Robertson: New Westminster tournament honours the first woman inducted to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame

When girls’ lacrosse teams from around B.C. suited up for the Dorothy Robertson Memorial Tournament in New West on the weekend, they did so in honour of a woman who had a passion for the game of lacrosse.

The tournament, held May 12 to 14 at Queen’s Park and Moody Park arenas, included play in U-11, U-13, U-15 and U-17 divisions. Janice Warton, who is Robertson’s daughter, was in Queen’s Park Arena on Saturday to do a ceremonial ball drop for a U9 exhibition game.

Robertson, a loyal Salmonbellies fan, committed an incredible amount of time to the game of lacrosse, said a write-up from the New Westminster Minor Lacrosse Association.

“The minor Bellies honour her legacy with the Dorothy Robertson Memorial Tournament, three days dedicated to celebrating women and girls in the sport of box lacrosse,” said the write-up.

Born and raised in New Westminster, Robertson began volunteering her time to the sport in 1944. She served as secretary with the British Columbia Lacrosse Association from 1968 to 1995 and she was also the secretary for the Western Lacrosse Association and the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

“When she was not busy fulfilling her duties in an office, one could find her happily watching lacrosse games at Queen’s Park Arena in New Westminster,” said the submission from the NWMLA. “Dorothy was an avid fan and enthusiastic supporter of lacrosse in all its many aspects and was the first woman to be inducted to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.”

After Robertson’s death in 1995, a memorial plaque was installed in her honour in the southwest corner of New Westminster’s Queen’s Park Arena – where it’s marked as Dorothy’s Seat. Her children founded the Dorothy Robertson Lacrosse Bursary, which is awarded each year to a female player, coach or official in the local community who exemplifies Robertson’s core values about the game of lacrosse – hard work, fair play, respect and giving back to the lacrosse community.

The box lacrosse season began in April and is now in full swing, with the New Westminster Minor Lacrosse Association hosting two more tournaments at Queen’s Park and Moody Park arenas in the weeks ahead. The Hyack Invitational bantam (U-15) tournament runs from May 19 to 21 and the John Witt Memorial Bellie Bowl novice tournament (U-11) is from June 2 to 4.