There’s no one happier to be back in the dark, low-ceilinged catacombs of Como Lake Middle School snatching bikes and stacking hockey bags than Chris Wilson.
It’s where thousands of pieces of sporting equipment are stored – from bikes and skates to golf clubs, bins of scuffed baseballs, pairs of skis and lightly worn football boots – awaiting new ones. owners at the annual spring sale which benefits KidSport Tri-Cities.
And with sales halted for two years due to public health restrictions related to COVID-19, the equipment has been piling up.
“The storage room is packed,” said Wilson, a Coquitlam councilor who is also the organization’s executive director and the driving force behind the dozens of volunteers who collect equipment, sort it, repair it and then are managing the actual sale which will take place on Saturday, April 23 at 10 a.m. at Riverside High School in Port Coquitlam.
Proceeds from the sale and a related event in the fall help needy families pay for sports registration fees for their children.
The importance of these activities was highlighted when most sports disappeared or were at least severely diminished during the pandemic, Wilson said.
“COVID has really thrown a lot of families into a loop.”
Now that the public health crisis appears to be waning, other pressures such as rising food, fuel and housing prices are pushing sports back down the priority list, Wilson said.
Cost reduction lowers a barrier to getting involved again.
These costs cannot be much lower than when selling.
For a family trying to equip their child for lacrosse, hockey, baseball, field hockey, or the myriad other activities that can keep them busy, there are great deals like a Warrior Evo Warp Lacrosse Stick. which is $180 new for $25, or a pair. of $600 Bauer Vapor 3XPro hockey skates that can be purchased for $25.
Wilson said there is no magic formula for determining what to charge for gear that is donated entirely by community members.
“We price things at what we think they will sell for,” he said. “We want to be able to get rid of things.”
Donated equipment collection centers open Wednesday, April 13 at the Poirier Sports and Recreation Complex in Coquitlam, the Port Coquitlam Community Center and the Port Moody Recreation Complex.