By Holly Reilly
Athletes Unlimited has officially announced the DC Metro area as our playing location for this summer’s inaugural season. I say “our” because I am so stoked to share that I will be competing alongside 55 other elite athletes to introduce a fast-paced, exciting version of professional lacrosse.
Athletes Unlimited is revolutionizing the game with a short form, intense format featuring 8-minute quarters and 9v9 play. The field will be smaller, and there will be a 60-second shot clock. Can you say, “WHOA?” This is going to be awesome. Each week teams are re-drafted based on prior weekend play performance, so the stakes are high.
For me, this is the third iteration of professional women’s lacrosse I’ve competed in. In 2016, I competed in the United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX), the first nationally competitive professional league for post-collegiate women. In 2018, I competed with the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL), the second professional league, and now in July 2021, I will compete with Athletes Unlimited (AU), the third iteration of professional women’s lacrosse.
There have been plenty of changes and movement in the world of professional women’s lacrosse, but I firmly believe that Athletes Unlimited is here to stay. It is a league focused on empowering females in sport and to creating a community where athletes support and lift one another long past their participation in the league.
For me, at 34, this will be a tremendous challenge, but I am inspired and drawn in by this challenge. I am motivated to be part of a female-forward, innovative organization ready to promote stories and professional sports in a different way. As opposed to team managers or owners, we, the athletes, control our league and make stakeholder decisions. We, the athletes…that sounds good, right?
What’s more, as part of its mission to develop athletes as civic leaders, Athletes Unlimited has partnered the Give Lively Foundation to allow its professional athletes to partner with a non-profit organization and play the season in part for that organization’s financial benefit.
My non-profit beneficiary will be Latin America Lacrosse Association, which inspires me to grow the game internationally. I am drawn to positively impact women worldwide by engaging them through sport. As my partner, Latin America Lacrosse Association will receive a grant equal to 50% of my season bonus. Athletes Unlimited provides the opportunity for every athlete to participate in this program.
Most of our season’s games will be televised or streamed live, and there are so many more details to come. Want to know more? Follow Athletes Unlimited on Twitter or Instagram @ AUProSports
You will continue to hear from me as I lace up the old cleats, get my tushy in gear and set my eyes on the prize. I may be 34, but I have super-mom powers
Coach Holly R
PS – Read more HERE about Athletes Unlimited!