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Inside the TRAC: The Future of Lacrosse

The Rock Practice Facility is a Lacrosse Lover’s Dream.

The Toronto Rock Athletic Centre, better known to many as the TRAC, stands as perhaps the world epicenter for all things lacrosse. Located in the Toronto suburb of Oakville (equidistant from downtown Toronto and downtown Hamilton), the complex serves as the practice facility for the NLL version of the Rock, while also functioning as the instructional and game day hub for the bevy of youth programs overseen by the franchise.

The 80,000-square-foot venue features two indoor regulation size turf fields, along with a NCAA/FIFA certified outdoor turf field, built to host a variety of sports including football, soccer, rugby and field hockey. All three of the playing surfaces are surrounded by ample spectator seating. The vast interior of the TRAC comes equipped with locker rooms, fitness spaces, corporate/hospitality event rooms and a Rock-themed pro shop.

While the venue is more than capable of accommodating a wide variety of athletic competition, there is no question that the TRAC’s signature focus is lacrosse, whether it be the box, field or sixes form of the sport.

“The TRAC is my baby. It is the best box lacrosse specific facility in the world. Nothing compares to it,” exclaimed TRAC owner Jamie Dawick, who also owns and operates the Rock.

The two-time NLL Executive of the Year takes it a step further regarding the year-round opportunities a structure of this nature provides.

“I remember Dan Dawson telling kids that he used to put his lacrosse sticks away in August, getting them out of the garage in March or April because there was nowhere to go to develop your skills. Our setup allows younger kids to divide their time between lacrosse and hockey, instead of being just full-time hockey,” notes Dawick.

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO – 2022 TRAC Rock Stars at Toronto Rock Athletic Centre on July 12th, 2022 in Oakville, Ontario. (Photo by Ryan McCullough / TRAC Rock Stars)

The six-time NLL champion franchise’s footprint is all over the complex, with goalie Nick Rose serving as building general manager, while a slew of current and former Rock players work as youth coaches and program directors.

“For those kids who want to make lacrosse their game, and practice and learn from the pros like Challen Rogers, Colin Doyle, Dan Dawson, Latrell Harris or Adam Jay, you can do it here,” explains Dawick.

Other Toronto luminaries including Jamieson Dilks, Brad Kri and Troy Holowchuk work as coaches at the TRAC, both guiding the kids and contributing to the daily Rock player comradery growth that exists on Invicta Drive in Oakville.

Even non-Rock NLL players like the recently traded Adam Jay, and current Rochester Knighthawks goalie Riley Hutchcraft, spend their weekdays spreading the lacrosse gospel to the youth of Ontario.

The building is basically an NLL home away from home for players, during the week and throughout the offseason.

It is not just those players who are imparting knowledge on the next generation of lacrosse talent. Rock Strength & Conditioning Coach Sean Holmes owns and operates The Dynamic Athlete elite performance training centre, with the venture based steps away from the box lacrosse fields.

The building truly has it all!

Without question, the most unique aspect of the TRAC operation centers around the fact that the best lacrosse players of tomorrow are able to receive group or individual instruction from the very best players of today. There is not a professional sports league in the world that comes close to equaling this scenario. This unbelievable circumstance is what Dawick is undoubtably the most proud of.

“You can do a private lesson with Challen Rogers, one of the best all-around lacrosse players in the world and captain of the Toronto Rock. You can just call and book a private lesson with him for a very reasonable price. Can you imagine calling the Maple Leafs and asking if you can get a one-hour lesson with John Tavares?”

The answer to Dawick’s hypothetical question is of course “no chance.”

The TRAC is in a class by itself when it comes to mixing it up with the heroes of lacrosse. The venue is truly heaven on Earth for those who love Canada’s national sport.

NLL