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How this Coquitlam soccer club gives back so more kids can play sports

Coquitlam Metro Ford Soccer Club has donated $400,000 back to KidSport Tri-Cities over the past 15 years.

For 15 years, Coquitlam Metro Ford Soccer Club (CMFSC) has donated back to KidSport Tri-Cities every dollar some of its players receive to help pay their registration fees.

That’s meant a cumulative financial lifeline of about $400,000, said Chris Wilson, the executive director of KidSport that helps subsidize the cost of participating in sports for families in need across the Tri-Cities.

And the arrangement could be a template for other sports associations to follow, said CMFSC's executive director Sara Maglio.

The idea for the mutually beneficial plan came from a meeting at the John B Pub, said Wilson.

KidSport was running on a shoestring budget, collecting the funds it needed to help kids mostly from little community events like car washes. Educating sports associations about what they do might help raise awareness and open new avenues to keep its mission going, Wilson thought.

CMFSC’s subsequent commitment went beyond his wildest hopes.

“It was a bit of a pivotal moment,” Wilson said. “It totally made a difference. It gave us stability.”

Maglio said donating back what benefits some of CMFSC’s 4,500 members helps foster inclusion for all sports.

“We don’t want fees to be a barrier,” she said, adding about 140 players within the club get some amount of subsidy from KidSport.

For Wilson, the annual infusion of funds has meant KidSport’s subsidies are better able to keep up with the rising cost of registration for many sports. If more associations could find their way to a similar model, he said, he’d be able to make the subsidies available for more than one registration a year for each child. He’s also able to do more outreach to families struggling to figure out how to afford to keep their kids active.

“We have to constantly let people know what we do,” Wilson said, adding the challenge grows every year as more and more people move into the Tri-Cities.

Maglio said if more sports associations are able to make room in their budgets to support KidSport, everyone benefits as more kids will be able to participate in more activities.

“Every little bit helps,” she said. “I hope it helps kids experience more than just soccer.”

Used equipment sale coming soon

Another major fundraiser for KidSport Tri-Cities — it’s annual spring sale of used sporting gear —  takes place Saturday, March 9, at Riverside Secondary in Port Coquitlam (2215 Reeve St.) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event features deep discount prices on equipment from all manner of sports — from skis to baseball mitts to archery sets, kites, skates, field hockey sticks and more than 200 bikes that have been cleaned up, repaired and refurbished to make them rideable.

Donations of used sports equipment can be made at three locations beginning Feb. 28 until March 8:

  • Port Moody Recreation Centre
  • Port Coquitlam Community Centre
  • Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex

Admission to the sale is by donation or non-perishable food items for the SHARE food bank.

For more information and even a price list of available items, go the KidSport Tri-Cities webpage.