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OLA FESTIVAL OPENS THIS WEEKEND

TORONTO- The Ontario Lacrosse Festival returns July 31st-August 9th with expanded facilities, program and status that now ranks itself as the largest annual youth lacrosse event in North America.

This summer the Festival welcomes four new events as part of its 10-day celebration of the game: (1) the Girls Bantam Lacrosse Championship of Canada, (2) the U19 Girls Field Lacrosse Provincials, (3) the OLA Bantam Provincials, and (4) the OLA Midget Provincials. In total the Festival hosts twelve separate national and provincial championships in both box and field lacrosse.

To accommodate the expanded size of the event, the Festival now includes the use of additional facilities in the City of Oshawa. Children’s Arena, Harman Park Arena and the Donevan Recreation Complex join the stable of existing facilities (Iroquois Park, McKinney, Vipond and Legends Centre) to host approximately 401 teams this year.

Opening ceremonies of the Festival go Sunday, August 2nd at 4:00 PM on Pad 1 at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby. Rogers Television returns to broadcast the championship games of the three national tournaments on Saturday, August 8th from the same location, where organizers expect a sold-out facility for the sixth consecutive year. Lacrosse Inside the Game personalities Gary Marks (play-by-play) and Ron Messer (game insights/analysis) will be featured on the Rogers Television broadcasts.

In addition to the indoor tournament competition, an outdoor Festival Fun Zone is on-site providing unique, engaging and experiential opportunities for Festival fans.
 
The complete 2009 Ontario Lacrosse Festival Media Guide is posted online at www.ontariolacrossefestival.com/view_subcat.php?sub_id=107 <http://www.ontariolacrossefestival.com/view_subcat.php?sub_id=107> .

“The Ontario Lacrosse Festival is a ten-day combination of great competition and fun for the entire family” said Ontario Lacrosse Association President John Doherty.

“The OLA is once again pleased to partner with the Town of Whitby and the City of Oshawa to deliver first-class facilities for the excitement and drama of our provincial championship tournaments. On behalf of the OLA, we extend an invitation to everyone to join us at our annual celebration of the game”.

2009 Presenting Sponsors of the Festival are Gait Lacrosse, Harrow Sports, STX Lacrosse, Toronto Rock Lacrosse Club, Under Armour and Warrior Sports.

For complete Festival schedules and results, visit www.ontariolacrossefestival.com <http://www.ontariolacrossefestival.com/> .