February 28, 2011

Sports equipment drive will help local children

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A group of Southern Illinois University Carbondale students is collecting new and gently used sporting equipment to help local children.

The Sport Studies Association earned recognition as a Registered Student Organization in spring 2010 and during its first semester, organized a very successful shoe drive. The students collected more than 3,000 pairs of shoes and delivered them to the Soles 4 Souls warehouse near Nashville.

“The shoe drive was a great experience, but we wanted to do something that would keep the resources closer to home so we decided to run a sporting equipment drive and to work with local organizations that need the equipment,” said Bobbi Knapp, assistant professor of kinesiology and faculty adviser for the Sport Studies Association.

In helping plan the sporting equipment drive, Knapp consulted with Good Sports, a national organization increasing youth participation in sports, fitness and recreational activities by improving access to sports equipment, primarily in U.S. metropolitan areas. The SIUC group is conducting a similar effort on a smaller scale to help local organizations in need of the equipment.

Beginning Tuesday, March 1, there will be drop-off boxes in the kinesiology department office in Davies Hall as well as at academic services in Lingle Hall, the equipment desk at the Student Recreation Center, Bowling and Billiards at the Student Center and Gold’s Gym in Carbondale. Anyone is welcome to drop off new or lightly used sporting equipment at any of these locations throughout the month of March. The students will then distribute the donated items to organizations in need in the Southern Illinois region.

“This is a great opportunity to eliminate sporting equipment you no longer use from your house while providing kids in our region the opportunity to play sports and be active,” Knapp said.

For more information, contact Bobbi Knapp at bknapp@siu.edu or by calling 618/453-3324.