Lacrosse Blog 1 - Who is Luke Mills and why is he playing lacrosse?
Firstly thanks for coming to read my spiel! I’m Luke Mills and I’m an international Lacrosse player for Team England & GB and a True Temper x Northern Soul Athlete.
I’m originally from the South coast of the UK, a small town called Lee-On-The-Solent, which is near the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton. I now live in South Manchester with my Fiancé, Fi.
As a child back home, I did the typical path of playing football for many years as a goal keeper. That said, I played anything I could get my hands on whether that was squash, tennis, basketball, volleyball, hockey, absolutely anything! My next main sports were as a teenager, playing rugby and badminton for a couple of years each, but roller hockey was the next significant one – and almost as niche as lacrosse!
I played this till I went to University, but had to give up as there wasn’t a local team to play for, nor facilities nearby to setup a team… so I turned my eyes to lacrosse!
Born in 1995, I’m now 27 and have been playing lacrosse for about 9 years, starting when I went to at Loughborough University back in 2013, aged 18. I studied Mathematics & Sport Science Joint Honours and graduated in 2017 before taking another half a year there to coach the lacrosse programme at Loughborough.
I entered the England talent pathway by being selected for English Universities, being selected 2 years in a row to play at the Nick Kehoe tournament, in Wilmslow. My first taste of International lacrosse then came in 2018 after being selected to play for the England U23 squad on the tour of Japan ahead of the World Champs later that year. We played various Japanese Universities and the Men’s National team across the week-long tour and got a couple of days to sightsee.
I now play for Brooklands Lacrosse Club in NEMLA Premiership and am part of the 3 international teams across the 3 formats of lacrosse – England Field, England Box and GB Sixes.
This summer I took part in my first senior international tournaments. Firstly to Alabama for The World Games with British Lacrosse where we lost the bronze medal match vs Japan to take home 4th, ultimately losing out on the podium in overtime to a golden goal. Definitely one we’ll be wanting back at the next opportunity we get!
A few weeks after landing back home, I flew out to Germany along with a few other of the sixes players with England Box Lacrosse, where we got minor redemption and brought home the gold medal at the European Championships. This was the box programme’s first major tournament win, with the team going unbeaten across the 6 games, beating tournament favourites Czech Republic in the Semi-finals and hosts Germany in the final.
Unfortunately, playing lacrosse in the UK doesn’t pay too well, so until I can earn a salary or live off sponsors we’re all still amateurs, merely dreaming of going full time! I’m a CIMA qualified Management Accountant and work as one for an e-commerce business to pay the bills, playing lacrosse and doing all my additional training on evenings and on weekends. Olympic inclusion could well change this all over the next 5 years, but whilst we keep our fingers and toes crossed that this once farfetched dream becomes a reality, I’m an accountant with a lacrosse addiction!
I also try and do my bit for my club, having now helped with coaching in the junior lacrosse programme for a few years now!
I can’t finish this first blog without mentioning my number one supporter who continually helps me to pursue my lacrosse dream, Fi. I spend a lot of time out of the house, trading time together for training hours and without her continued support and motivation I wouldn’t be able to continue pushing to be the best I can, and I’m lucky to marry this wonderful human this April!
If you made it this far I really appreciate it! Stay tuned for more spiel as I attempt to make it onto the England squad for the San Diego World Champs this summer.
Instagram - @lukmills13