Another heat wave is coming. So what better time to start thinking cooling thoughts about hockey season?
That’s what the organizers of KidSport Tri-Cities’ first hockey-only sale are hoping.
The organization that helps local families in need cover registration costs for their children’s sports activities is offering a huge selection of used hockey gear for sale this Saturday (Aug. 14) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Como Lake Middle School gymnasium (1121 King Albert Ave., Coquitlam).
Chris Wilson, the executive director of KidSport Tri-Cities, said the sport-specific sale — there will also be ringette gear, as well as bicycles — is a way to clear a huge backlog of donated equipment that has accumulated in its storage facility at the school over the past 18 months after its massive annual spring and summer sales were put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the stockpile was further bolstered by recent equipment drives from the Burnaby and Vancouver Thunderbirds minor hockey associations.
Wilson said though public health restrictions are allowing the resumption of youth sports again, the crisis is still top of mind. The sale’s hours have been extended to spread out the crowds and shoppers must pre-register at www.kidsporttricities.ca for a specific time to attend.
Once at the sale, masks and social distancing protocols will be encouraged.
Wilson said the challenges of the past year-and-a-half brought on by cancellations and strict limitations placed on sporting activities to minimize opportunities for the contagion to spread have only highlighted the importance of kids’ sports.
“It’s essential,” Wilson said.
“The social side of sports is so important. The life skills kids learn playing sports are so important and they’ve been without for 16, 18 months.”
While the pandemic also prevented KidSport Tri-Cities from holding other fundraising actives, like its Operation Red Nose driving service during the Christmas holiday season, and the annual golf tournament, the organization’s bank account has been bolstered by funds raised independently by various local sports associations along with the sale of some its inventory of used bikes through Facebook Marketplace that netted about $100,000.
Wilson said the need for those funds is greater than ever, with so many families impacted financially by the pandemic.
“There are a lot of families struggling out there,” he said. “We really want families to know there’s lots of opportunities to get support.”
And families with kids playing other sports like baseball, soccer, and lacrosse, need not despair. Wilson said KidSport’s annual fall equipment sale of all things sporting is a go for Saturday, Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Riverside Secondary in Port Coquitlam.
Anyone interested in volunteering for either event can email email@example.com.
As well, drop-off stations for used equipment for the fall sale will be set up at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex and Port Moody rec centre beginning Sept. 1 to 10.