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City-wide bottle drive aims to get more kids off the sidelines and into the game

KidSport and Rosenau Transport Ltd. have organized what they hope will be the city’s biggest bottle drive ever to help with local kids’ sport registration fees.

“Now more than ever kids need our help,” Kevin Webster, CEO of KidSport Calgary and the Calgary Flames Sports Bank, said.

“This is an impactful and simple way to support local kids and raise awareness for a program that’s critical in the lives of kids … when their families otherwise can’t afford it.”

On Sept. 6, Calgarians can drop off their refundable beverage containers at four drop-off locations around the city.

The locations – Vivo For Healthier Generations, WinSport, Repsol Sport Centre and Woodridge Ford – will accept containers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The goal is to bring in more than 200,000 containers in one day.

All funds raised will go directly to helping low-income kids in the city.

“It’s critical, now [more] than ever, to ensure our kids are being socialized through sport,” Dillon Rosenau, Vice President of Sales & Marketing with Rosenau Transport Ltd., said.

“No donation is too small to have an impact.”

Calgary Flames Sports Bank provides kids with no-cost equipment for any sport. KIRSTEN PHILLIPS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

In 2019, KidSport provided 5,717 kids with sports registration fee assistance and 3,000 received no-cost equipment through their Calgary Flames Sports Bank.

The bottle drive gives people an easy way to donate. There’s no need to write a cheque or host a fundraiser, Webster said.

Webster said they hope to get some businesses and teams involved to encourage some healthy competition.

Volunteers will be on-site to help unload empties onto large Rosenau Transport trucks.

Increased need for support

COVID-19 amplified the already essential role KidSport plays in supporting the community.

The bottle drive shifts the focus back on families and kids, Dale Oviatt, Senior Manager of Communications with WinSport, said.

“It’s hard enough in any year coming up with the money for some families to put the kids in sport,” Oviatt said.

Around 40% of KidSport’s applications this month are from families new to the program.

“We’re [here] to give them the assistance they need and get their kids access to sport,” Webster said.

“We don’t want families that are in a financial crunch right now to be eliminating sport.”

Rosenau Transport delivers free sporting goods equipment year round to kids across Southern Alberta.

With the winter season just around the corner, we expect demand to be at an all-time high, Rosenau said.

“The funds raised from this event will be critical to ensure every kid who wants to play the sport of their choosing is outfitted with the appropriate gear and have the financial means to cover the entry fees.”