Chris Wilson has balls.
Many balls. In a variety of sizes, shapes and textures.
But before this story descends any further into a classic Saturday Night Live sketch, it might be helpful to note Wilson wants to sell you his balls – cheap.
In fact, balls are among the least costly items you’ll find at the annual spring KidSport used equipment sale that runs Saturday (March 4), from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Riverside Secondary (2215 Reeve St.).
For instance, you can get 10 golf balls that went astray from their owners for $1.
Wilson, the chair of KidSport Tri-Cities who’s been running the twice-yearly sale since 2007, said there will be lots of great, gently-used gear from virtually every sport available at bargain basement prices. Proceeds help pay registration fees for the athletic activities for kids whose families might not be otherwise able to afford them.
Many of those activities centre around a ball.
Over the years, Wilson said he’s seen pretty much every kind of ball come through the sale, from football and rugby, soccer and cricket, bocce and basketball, to lacrosse and croquet, bowling and beach.
There’s been buckets of golf balls, boxes of baseballs, bags of tennis balls and laundry baskets filled with softballs.
But Wilson couldn’t say if he’s ever sold a round football that’s used in Gaelic football or a sliotar from the Irish sport of hurling.
One year, a local business donated 1,500 soccer balls commemorating a World Cup tournament and there’s still a few left.
In fact, Wilson said, so many balls have been part of the sale, sometimes he just ends up donating them to local associations to free up storage space.
While most shoppers are on the hunt for bargains on big-ticket items like bicycles and hockey equipment, Wilson said it’s important not to overlook the value of the humble ball.
“It’s the fundamental tool of a lot of sports,” he said.
Even athletes who play sports that don’t involve balls often develop a relationship with them. During Wilson’s wrestling days, he said, he incorporated balls into his training for strength and reflexes.
Wilson said balls are often the entry point into a sport.
Just the simple act of kicking, chasing, throwing or catching one can lead to a lifelong affinity.
“It all starts with the ball,” he said. “It’s the starting point for so many good things that come out of sport.”
Well, the student volunteers from Riverside who will be tasked to inflate the balls the day before the sale to ensure they’re looking their most enticing may have a different take.
Fortunately, said Wilson, they have an air compressor.
Entry to the sale is by non-perishable or financial donation for the SHARE food bank.
Donations of equipment are accepted until March 3 and can be dropped off at three locations:
- Arena 3 at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre
- Front desk at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex in Coquitlam
- Front desk at the Port Moody Recreation Centre
For more information, including a sample list of prices, you can visit KidSport Tri-Cities’ website.