🥍 Meet Landon Underwood, a proud member of the Tsawout First Nation and dedicated lacrosse player and coach!

💭 “Dream big. Don’t ever let somebody tell you that you can’t do it,” Landon advises, reflecting on his journey from Peninsula Lacrosse to representing BC in the North American Indigenous Games. 💪🏽🏆

Discover Landon’s journey and future goals by reading the full interview below 🥍✨

Who are you, and where are you from?

My name is Landon Underwood, and I am 25 years old. I proudly acknowledge my membership in the Tsawout First Nation, one of the five W̱SÁNEĆ Villages.

My parents are Bruce and Lila (Henry) Underwood. I am the grandson of Alice, the late Larry Sam, Dorothy, and the late Herman Henry Sr.

Can you tell me about your recent athletic accomplishment?

I am an alumnus of the Peninsula Lacrosse Association, Pacific Rim Field Association, and Vancouver Island Seaspray. I was drafted to the Nanaimo Timbermen Jr. team, where I spent four years as a junior. I feel privileged to have participated in the Junior and Senior lacrosse programs at Claremont Secondary School within School District #63, where  I graduated.

I was selected to represent British Columbia in the North American Indigenous Games. I also attended the Nation’s Cup, hosted in Ontario by the North Shore Indians.

I am proud to share that I graduated from the Claremont lacrosse program in 2017. After graduating, I took the opportunity to play on a lacrosse scholarship in Florida, attending Keiser University.

I recently returned home to Canada after playing in a lacrosse tournament hosted in Prague, Czech Republic.

How did you prepare/train to get to this point in your athletic life?

Keeping myself involved on and off the floor, mind and body, keeping my stick in my hand year-round.”

I acknowledge some of the teachings I have received from family values: “From a Healthy body comes a healthy mind.” Fitness is key; exercising regularly, getting proper rest, and monitoring food intake are disciplines that need focus.

Playing other sports is also a fun way to stay in shape.

Another way to give back to the sport I love within W̱SÁNEĆ Territory is by coaching Under-17. I focus on individual skill-building and teamwork.

“Run for those in the family that are not able to run” is part of the Creator’s game and teachings.

Who have you trained with in the past, or who has positively influenced you to this point?

I train on my own or with friends who play different sports, but I give credit to my father. He encourages me to stay on top of my game physically and mentally. He always ensures I run and do the right things to keep my body and mind healthy.

What are the biggest accomplishments you’ve achieved that you are most proud of?

Acknowledging a few different personal life highlights, I quickly bring it back to lacrosse. Attending university by playing the sport I love in the United States is pretty neat because you don’t see too many people from the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nation Villages leaving to play the sport they love. I don’t know many people who have taken the same opportunity, especially for lacrosse. Graduating from the Claremont Lacrosse Program was also something because only four First Nation people were in that program when I was there; they’re all accomplishments in my eyes.

What would you tell anybody who’s just starting out in Lacrosse?

I focus on self-talk and discipline. “Dream big. Don’t ever let somebody tell you that you can’t do it.” You can do anything if you keep your mind strong and do what you love while having fun. Don’t listen to negativity or what anybody else thinks.”

What are your next dreams and goals?

Right now, I am focused on coaching. I am giving back to lacrosse within the Peninsula by coaching minor associations and serving as the head coach for the Under-17 Peninsula Warriors.

My goal today is to give back to the game that helped me grow on and off the floor. I want to see players in shape and challenging themselves. Of course, winning a tournament or the Provincials would also be nice.

Is there anyone you want to thank or acknowledge who has helped you get to this point? 

It’s not just one person I would like to acknowledge. My parents have sacrificed a lot for me to get to where I am today. They encouraged cultural teachings and respect while understanding life outside the village, especially supporting me with being able to attend university across the continent and being away from home.

I cannot forget about my two siblings, Jessica and Ambrose, because they were always willing to play catch with me in the front yard.

My grandparents have always given me kind words to be careful, and my grandmothers Dorothy and Alice would also make an effort to watch my local games.

I have my extended family and coaches to thank for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to play the game that I love.

Do you have any other messages you’d like to share with your community?

My advice for youth who are playing a sport and are finding it hard right now is to remember why you started playing the game. 

Remember, just have fun, train hard, and continue doing what you love to do and what makes you happy. 

Keep yourself in a healthy mindset, and make sure you’re happy doing what you love. Be prepared before stepping onto the floor. 

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