Skate to Great hockey equipment donation program hits Edmonton

Edmonton Sun
Claire Theobald
February 19, 2015

Edmonton

Dean McDonald plays goalie as kids play hockey during Family Day at Churchill Square in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Family Day events were held across the city. Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/ QMI Agency.

“Skate to Great is taking unwanted hockey equipment out of basements and putting it into the hands of kids in need.

“Skating should be a right and not a privilege in Canada,” said Evan Kosiner, chairman and co-founder of Skate to Great.

The average cost of hockey equipment for a child can run anywhere from $740 for an average start-up set and up to $3,000 for goalie equipment, putting participating in organized sport out of reach for families already struggling to make ends meet.

Started in March 2011 in Toronto, the group collected 500 skates. Since then, Skate to Great has donated 6,000 pairs of skates over the last two years in eight cities across Canada, distributed through various existing charities like Sport Central, 11847 Wayne Gretzky Drive, in Edmonton.

“To receive this from Skate to Great, with the help of FedEx, is really awesome for us because it means more kids we can put into sport who can’t afford it,” said Sheldon Oleksyn, executive director of Sports Central.
While Sport Central outfitted thousands of kids aged three to 17 with equipment last year, Oleksyn says demand is only growing, especially for hockey helmets in good condition.

Teaming up with FedEx Canada — providing shipping services free of charge to help connect kids with the equipment they need — Skate to Great will be collecting gently used sporting equipment from Feb. 19 to 26.
Donations can be dropped off at FedEx Express, 3803 56 Avenue, or at Sport Central. For more information, go to www.skatetogreat.org “