SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Equipment Committee, in partnership with KidSport, is looking for permanent housing to store their donated sports equipment.
“We have a surplus of inventory because of COVID and because the sports programming has not taken place. We looked for opportunities to try to send equipment so the kids could be outside, ”said Saskatoon Equipment Committee chair Kelsie Fraser.
“We donated it to the Saskatoon Police Department last summer. They had done something to put sports equipment in Pleasant Hill Park for the kids. We are looking for opportunities like this.
Many items are donated by the community, while cash donations are used to purchase new items.
Since the start of the program in 2017, a local company has stored all the equipment. But organizers have said they are no longer able to keep it and must find a new location by Friday.
A few storage sites have been suggested, but it’s difficult to keep all the material in one place, they said. Ideally, they want to find permanent housing for their donations between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet, with a possible showcase where families can come and try out the equipment.
The idea for a showcase came from an organization in Edmonton called Sport Central, which does similar work and donated equipment to the group in Saskatoon.
The Equipment Committee and KidSport have made donations to communities such as the Yellow Quill First Nation, George Gordon First Nation and Île-à-la-Crosse, as well as larger cities like Regina.
Fraser said they hope to remove financial barriers so children can play sports.
Since the local program began, Fraser said, 1,700 children have benefited from donated sports equipment. The cost is estimated to be around $ 700,000.
Local groups and businesses are contributing to the cause, such as the Knights of Columbus, Canadian Tire and Rosenau Transport.
To equip themselves, families can fill out a form with KidSport.
KidSport helps with registration fees for organized sports.