LYNCHBURG, Va. – Park View Community Mission in Lynchburg held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday for Sports Locker — a new space that provides new and gently used equipment to families struggling to afford it.
“The poverty rate in Lynchburg is around 20 percent maybe, and a lot of that poverty is centered here, near Park View,” said Todd Blake, executive director of Park View Community Mission.
From goalie gloves to golf clubs, clothing for the court and footwear for the field — it’s all free!
Park View is making it happen by teaming up with the University of Lynchburg and a coalition of nonprofits known as the Lynchburg Area Youth Sports Initiative.
“The cost of cleats, the cost of a basketball shouldn’t be a barrier to a kid continuing in a sport if they grow out of their equipment, or trying out a new sport that they are interested in,” said Blake.
Kids of any age, from the Greater Lynchburg area, can schedule an appointment to visit. Then, they’ll be paired up with a college student-athlete to pick out the clothing or equipment they need.
“We’re able to give them more of a one-on-one relationship and just in a safe and fun environment,” said Sydney Crocetta, a freshman on the University of Lynchburg’s women’s soccer team.
The team volunteered to help build Sports Locker and collect donations.
“We just want to spread the joy, and we want everyone to feel comfortable and safe playing a sport that they love,” said Crocetta.
It’s providing an equal opportunity for kids to get off the sideline and get their head in the game.
You can call Park View at 434-845-8468.