He doesn’t do it for the fame, or glory, and definitely not for the money. Tracey Kelusky does what he does for the love of the game.
Kelusky is best known as the captain of the Calgary Roughnecks lacrosse team. For his day job, Kelusky can be found at the National Sports Academy as a lacrosse teacher.
“It’s rewarding when you teach someone something and see it pay off dividends with a scholarship or simple as a kid getting a goal and saying ‘I used that move that you taught me last night,’ ” says Kelusky.
Kelusky began his tenure with the Roughnecks in 2003 and began working with the NSA soon after.
“We started with eight participants in the lacrosse program five years ago,” he says. “Now we are upwards of 70. The growth over the last five years has been outstanding.
“The talent that we are bringing in and the kids we are bringing in are not only high calibre players, but some are the best in Calgary, if not Alberta, for their ages.”
Despite being a legend in the Calgary lacrosse circles, to his players, he is plain old Coach Kelusky.
“They may come and watch the game, and say ‘good game last weekend,’ but at the end of the day, I’m their coach.”
Since all of his players know who he really is, it makes his job easier.
“It gives me a little more credibility. Not only have I lived it and currently am living (the life of a professional lacrosse player).”
The National Sports Academy is located in Calgary and offers a wide variety of sports programs. According to their website the goal of the program is “To inspire passion for the game of lacrosse while developing character for the game of life!”
For the National Sports Academy website click here.
In addition to the countless hours he puts forth at the NSA, Kelusky is also seen at Roughnecks sponsored events such as LadyCrosse.
LadyCrosse was held March 19 of this year and gives women the chance to learn how to play lacrosse. About 100 ladies showed up this year and were given the opportunity to play with the Roughnecks.
Although he isn’t obligated to be at these events, Kelusky feels he needs to do whatever possible to make the game that he loves more popular.
“We look at ourselves as pioneers of the game and we want to build the game at the grassroots level.
“We are hoping that in 10, 15 years when I’m done playing and maybe even coaching in the NLL, the league will be what it is because of what we put forth.”
To read a story on Kelusky’s teammate Kaleb Toth click here.