Saskatoon, SK – Youth from the Yellow Quill First Nation and Big Island Lake Cree Nation will be one step closer to participating in community sports thanks to nearly $400,000 worth of donated equipment.

Earlier this year, a new Committee under KidSport Saskatoon was formed to build on the city’s annual Used Sports Equipment Drive. A group of community-minded people agreed to step up to provide efforts on a year-round basis to assist in reducing barriers to youth participation in community sports. The Saskatoon Equipment Drive Committee is dedicated to collecting, processing and distributing new or gently used sports equipment to youth across Saskatchewan.

“Many of us grew up fortunate to play sports, but we know that some families may struggle to afford the necessary equipment,” says Committee Chair, Steve Hogle. “As a Committee, we want to do everything in our power to get equipment into the hands of those families so kids across the province can all go out and enjoy playing sports.”

“Over the past three years, Sport Central has supplied bulk shipments of sports equipment to several Saskatchewan communities at a total estimated retail value of one million dollars,” says Sheldon Oleksyn, Executive Director of Sport Central in Edmonton. “We are proud to support the work of the Saskatoon Equipment Drive Committee to get new and gently used equipment into the hands of kids in need.”

The impact felt in the receiving communities will be positive and immediate.

“Parents work hard to provide opportunities for their kids to play sports but equipment can be very expensive,” says Danny Blyan, a teacher’s aide at Chief Napew Memorial School in Big Island Lake Cree Nation. “This kind of gear will help get the kids moving, having fun and making them feel like they’re part of something.”

You can learn more about requesting equipment or donating gear or money to the cause by emailing kidsportequipment@sasksport.sk.ca or by logging onto the KidSport Saskatchewan website www.kidsport.ca/sk and finding the Saskatoon Equipment Drive Committee under the “Find a Chapter” drop down menu.