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Steven Fricke is Bellevue sports hero | Letter

Steven Fricke has stepped up to run for Bellevue City Council. There are few better suited to serve mainstream Bellevue than Steve. He sees the big picture and how it impacts our communities. With the current challenges facing Bellevue, we need someone with Steve’s long-time record of dedicated service. Whether he is representing young kids before Washington state and immigration courts, residents seeking fairness for their communities, or making sure that girls have the same opportunities as boys in sports, Steve will fight for equity and make sure residents have a real voice in decisions affecting Bellevue.

Sports heroes can be athletes, coaches, fans and sometimes advocates. In Bellevue, Steve is a coach who advocated behind the scenes to resolve inequities between Lacrosse programs. He would be the last person to characterize himself as a sports hero. In fact, the term may embarrass him a bit. But he would be the first person to step up on behalf of any group that is underserved.

In 2006, Lacrosse started gaining recognition and popularity in Bellevue. Until then, there were two lacrosse programs serving all of Bellevue: one for boys and one for girls. But in 2006, Bellevue High School players established their own school sponsored program and only they could earn a letter in lacrosse.

They also had free access to high school fields, coaches, locker rooms and other sport’s support services. Players outside the BHS residency area saw their lacrosse programs decline. Players from other schools only had access to recreational leagues where they had to pay for fields and coaches and didn’t have locker rooms. They could not earn a school letter for their participation in lacrosse.

Steve “leveled the playing field” by helping the School Board see that their new policy left out Newport, Sammamish and Interlake students. Steve co-wrote new policies assuring that all Bellevue students would receive equal access to the sport of lacrosse including earning a letter. Steve went on to advocate for equity for the girls’ lacrosse program until it was treated on par with the boys’ programs across Bellevue.

Steve is a natural leader who inspires everyone around him. He is authentic, has outstanding character and he has earned the trust and respect that his colleagues, players and friends have given him.

“Steve’s positive encouragement and excellent coaching has shaped many girls in the sport of Lacrosse, including my daughter. He inspires each girl not just to play better on the field, but to be better off the field. He doesn’t just teach lacrosse skills; he teaches respect, commitment and perseverance, leading by example every step of the way. He is a pillar in the lacrosse community, always driving to bring the sport to those who might not have the opportunity to play. His selfless dedication is just one reason why I appreciate and respect Steve so much. I’m very thankful for all that he has done for my daughter and I’m proud to be a part of the NSI family,” said Stefani Okamoto.

“Steve is a genuine, generous and kind person,” said Leslie Loper. “I have known him for several years as he has been wholeheartedly involved with the girls youth lacrosse organization as a coach, dad of a player and a referee. I have seen him give his all to these positions with tireless energy and gusto (I would think that he would run for City Council with the same enthusiasm and dedication). He is one of the most caring people I have met, always at the ready to help and give of himself when needed (numerous times he has jumped in and reffed lacrosse games for hours on end because the tournament didn’t have anyone else and that is just what he does in times of need) He is smart, funny and always upbeat. He will listen and make good decisions based on what is best for all; I have seen him in this way with the lacrosse world. I live in Seattle and wish he were running on our side of the lake. He is a wonderful person and I am honored to know him.”

Steve Fricke is an unsung local sports hero who is running for Bellevue City Council. Imagine what we could accomplish together.

Stephanie Walter

Bellevue