There’s no one happier to be back in the dark, low-ceilinged catacombs of Como Lake Middle School wrenching bikes and stacking hockey bags than Chris Wilson.
That’s where thousands of pieces of sports equipment — from bikes and skates to golf clubs, bins of scuffed baseballs, pairs of skis and slightly worn soccer boots — are stored, awaiting new owners at the annual spring sale that benefits KidSport Tri-Cities.
And with the sale on hiatus for two years because of COVID-19 public health restrictions, the gear has been piling up.
“The storage room is jam packed,” said Wilson, a Coquitlam councillor who’s also the organization’s executive director and the driving force behind the dozens of volunteers who collect the gear, sort it, fix it up and then manage the actual sale that will be held Saturday, April 23, at 10 a.m. at Riverside Secondary School in Port Coquitlam.
Proceeds from the sale, and a companion event in the fall, help families in need pay registration fees for their kids’ sporting activities.
The importance of those activities was driven home when most sports went away or were at least severely diminished during the pandemic, Wilson said.
“COVID really threw a lot of families for a loop.”
Now that the public health crisis seems on the wane, other pressures like increasing prices for food, fuel and housing are knocking sports further down the priority list, Wilson said.
Lowering the cost diminishes one barrier for getting involved again.
Those costs can’t get much lower than at the sale.
For a family trying to equip their kid for lacrosse, hockey, baseball, field hockey or the myriad other activities that can keep them busy, there are bargains galore like a Warrior Evo Warp lacrosse stick that costs $180 new going for $25, or a pair of $600 Bauer Vapour 3XPro hockey skates that can be had for $25.
Wilson said there’s no magic formula for determining what to charge for the gear that’s all donated by members of the community.
“We price things at whatever we think it will sell for,” he said. “We want to be able to get rid of the stuff.”
Collection centres for donated equipment open Wednesday, April 13 at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex in Coquitlam, the Port Coquitlam Community Centre and the Port Moody Recreation Complex.