Chicago’s NBC 5 profiles The Sports Shed, a growing Illinois-based organization that is distributing sports equipment to non-profit organizations, including Girls in the Game and Mercy Home for Boys, who run sports and fitness programs for youth. The TV news piece throws a bit a curve. What starts as an apparent plug for Play It Again Sports turns into a pitch of an alternative way, and an arguably better way, to dispose of used sports equipment.
In Illinois, the Daily Herald’s Mick Zawislak caught up with The Sports Shed Founder Tina Sernett over the summer. Zawislak: “There was no light bulb moment, but as the sports equipment piled up, Tina Sernett decided there had to be a way to put it to good use.”
“I’m very passionate about helping people who don’t have the resources,” Sernett told Zawislak. “There were things I wanted to do as a kid but I didn’t do them because I didn’t have the resources to buy the stuff to play.”
When speaking to Zawislak, Sernett “estimated that as many as 3,000 pieces have been collected, including an Eagle Scout project that netted 1,000. She also has sold surpluses of certain items and used the proceeds to buy other items.”
Zawislak noted that the “most-needed items are basic, such as soccer and basketballs, although shin guards, tennis rackets, hockey gear or nearly anything is fair game, so to speak.”