Let’s be honest, sometimes belonging to a youth sports organization can get a little expensive for sports parents, especially if they have more than one athlete in the house or belong to a high-powered travel team. Imagine how much hockey gear for three kids might cost each year, especially since youth athletes grow so fast and probably need new equipment every season. Some parents in your community might be hesitant about signing their children up for your sports league because they are apprehensive about the high costs of equipment. Help ease their fears and hold a sports gear swap at the beginning of the season!
There is no need for good sports gear to go to waste just because an athlete outgrew their football cleats or decided they’d rather play lacrosse instead of baseball. Using your sports software’s email system, send a message out to current and past sports families and invite them to donate their used sports gear for your upcoming gear swap. Some families in your community might have season’s worth of gear to donate, especially if all the kids played various sports in your organization over the years.
Schedule a day at the beginning of the season (before practices start!) for your sports gear swap. You could hold it in the gym at the community recreation center or hope for good weather and have it outside on one of your fields. Families can drop off their gear in the weeks preceding the event (or even the morning of if you’re willing) and you can organize it by sport, making it easier for parents to find what they need. They’ll be able to buy gently-used gear for a fraction of the cost of new gear at a sports apparel store, which is a great deal if they have a player that is trying youth sports for the first time. Most parents don’t want to spend $100+ dollars on gear and have their child not come back next season.
A sports gear swap is also a great fundraising activity for your sports organization. Proceeds can be funneled back into your league to help pay for field maintenance, cover the cost of officials and much more. It’s also a good place to put your league volunteers to use! You’ll need someone to not only man the register, but help youth athletes and parents find the right gear, inventory and restock gear as needed, set up the swap itself and more!