A young Langford athlete with a passion for lacrosse and other sports continues to do his part to give back.
Ford Preston, 13, began collecting donations of gently used sports equipment about a year ago to pass on to families in need and is now looking to expand the reach of his program.
“I know how expensive equipment is and I want families who can’t really afford it to have access to sport because it’s medicine for a lot of people, it’s medicine for me,” Preston said.
His family plans to take lacrosse equipment and other donations on an upcoming trip to Uganda, to help create access to sport for children in Africa. Ugandan charities IFamile Emu Children Center and Kids Lacrosse Africa use lacrosse as a way to build education, community and achievement for young people.
Preston’s understanding of the barriers many families face led to the development of the grassroots organization, Preston’s Sports Link Network.
Free equipment is offered for a variety of sports such as soccer, tennis, hockey, lacrosse and even dance. The equipment is kept in the Langford storage room, which has donated space to Preston for as long as he needs it.
The Saanich Lacrosse Association, an organization aimed at making the sport more affordable for families, donated much of the lacrosse equipment Preston currently has.
“The initiative Ford has demonstrated is impressive as it has recognized a gap in access to the sport and has taken concrete steps to open up the sport to those who may not have had the opportunity,” said association president Andy Stuart. “The lacrosse community will watch the growth of this emerging leader.”
On a personal level, Preston’s mother, Tiffany Magionas, said his physical and mental health largely depended on his ability to channel his energy into sport, and not having access to it during the pandemic gave him pause. among others who also face financial barriers.
“When COVID shut down Ford lost all ability to participate in his recreational sports, however, for him it affected him a bit more than others because he has a Tourette diagnosis,” he said. she declared.
To donate for Preston’s upcoming trip to Uganda, visit gofundme.com.
To donate or arrange to pick up equipment, visit prestonssportslink.wixsite.com/prestonssportslink.
Charity and DonatingLacrosseWest Shore