What it means to be an Honorary Member

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WLAX 470 x 140by Lauren Shipman, 
Neumann University, Junior Psychology Major & Honorary Member                         (Women’s Lacrosse)

Last year I became the Honorary Member of the Neumann University Women’s Lacrosse team as a result of a presentation I gave to the team about my disability. It all started after my speech when the players asked me to be the Honorary Captain for one of their home games. I was thrilled to take the first shot on net and sit with the team during the game. It was also only my second time being a captain for anything, which made it even more special.

On game night, the team had me take three shots on net because I missed the first two. Well, they say, “Three times’ a charm!” During the game, I stood with the team on the sidelines, went into all of the huddles, and was the first one in line to shake hands with the opposing team at the end of the game. It was such a fun experience for everyone that I got invited to sit with the team again, and the next thing I knew, I became the Honorary Member of the NU Women’s Lacrosse team. I attended as many home games as possible, including the championship game at Cabrini, and I was on the sidelines cheering on the team and high-fiving the players every time they scored a goal. At most games, I even shot around with some of the players during warm-ups, which was a blast.

Although I am not physically playing, the experience of being involved with the team is something that I absolutely love and I would not trade it for anything. Just being a part of an able-bodied team for once is an amazing experience that I will never forget. The athletes, the coaches, and the chaplain are wonderful in every aspect, especially with the way they do their best in getting me involved with everything they do.

I am truly grateful that the Women’s Lacrosse team came into my life and has accepted me as one of their own. I do play on a Power Wheelchair Hockey team, but last year I became part of the lacrosse team, which means I am now dedicated to two teams. Every time I step out on the turf with the lacrosse team, it brightens my day. I know why they call it being an “Honorary Member” because it is truly an amazing honor for me and I am very excited for the new season to start in the spring!

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