Whether the dream is being the next big superstar in their sport, building inter-personal skills at a young age, or having fun in a sport they love, the Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank has worked since 2014 to help eliminate the financial barriers between children and their chosen sport by supplying them with the necessary equipment.
The program was originally brought to life by Bill Comrie and the Comrie family, but has been aided by the support of a number of organizations as well, including the Western Hockey League, the Hockey Canada Foundation, the Hockey Alberta Foundation, Hockey Calgary, Sport Calgary, the Calgary Flames Foundation, Calgary Hitmen and KidSport Calgary.
“The WHL is proud to be a partner of Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank,” said Yvonne Bergmann, Vice President, Business for the Western Hockey League, and Board Member for Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank. “The WHL joined the Comrie’s partnership in support of the Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank mission statement to ensure that every child in Southern Alberta has an equal opportunity to play sports by providing appropriate sporting equipment at no cost.”
While the organization runs to this day thanks to the help and participation of the organizations and foundations listed above, the countless volunteers have the greatest direct impact on the organization and are the heart of the equipment bank’s operation.
With over 11,000 kids impacted and more than 42,000 pieces of equipment distributed, volunteers have contributed over 4,700 hours of service to providing kids, but the need still remains. As the fall sports season approaches, the need increases for those to help outfit kids for proper equipment. Shifts in this area generally run around three hours, which can make a big difference in a short amount of time.
“Comire’s Sports Equipment Bank fills an ever-increasing void in today’s society by working with numerous agencies ensuring that every child, irrespective of their financial circumstances, has an equal opportunity to participate in sport,” said Al Coates, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Comrie’s Sport Equipment Bank.
Volunteers come from all manner of backgrounds, but a prevailing theme is that of former athletes, whether at a recreational or high-performance level.
“I can’t imagine how different my life would have been without the proper equipment and access to sport,” said one volunteer. “It’s my turn to pass on those experiences to younger girls and boys, and hopefully develop future athletes.”
Adriel Allen, the Program Coordinator with the Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank, also had an inspiring message as to how the organization has provided a benefit to those in need
“I have been on the Comrie’s staff for over three years, and I have seen the organization grow and I have personally seen the impact this gear is having on these families,” Allen said. “I have parents and kids hug me with tears in their eyes.
“It is an extremely rewarding job and I am so grateful to be a part of helping parents fulfill their children’s dreams of participating in their chosen sport.”
Outside of their call for volunteers, the dream still remains with the equipment bank to complete a capital project, marking one central location that would include a warehouse and offices enabling organizations to cut substantial costs and build synergies with local sports groups.
With this, the Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank could strive further in ensuring children have access to affordable sport for generations to come.
Those interested in applying to be a volunteer with Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank can fill out an application form or visit their website today.