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Charity collects unwanted kit to give every child a sporting chance

A South Wales organisation is giving old sports equipment a new lease of life – providing over 1,000 local children with kit to take part in sport, and saving thousands of items from landfill.

(Play It Again Sport/Climate Action Wales)

Play it Again Sport has a simple goal: to make sport affordable and accessible to children across Rhondda Cynon Taff. It collects unwanted sports equipment, passing it on to families who need it,  or putting it on sale at an affordable price.

The social enterprise was set up in 2016 by local karate instructor, Steffan Rees. He realised that some children were put off from attending classes because their families could not afford to pay for equipment and lessons. Meanwhile, many households had piles of unused and unwanted sports kit lying around – much of it destined to  end up in the bin.

Play It Again Sport tackles both problems. It accepts donations of equipment, clothing and footwear at leisure centres across Rhondda Cynon Taff, and at the Cardiff City House of Sport. After sorting and cleaning, some items are passed on to children by schools, councils and engagement officers.

Other donations go to pop-up shops and sales outlets, where they are made available for a fraction of their original cost. The proceeds support local sports activities, such as school PE projects and initiatives to get older people exercising.

Natasha Burnell, who runs Play It Again Sport, says: “We’re not only managing a huge recycling operation, but also helping people save money. We make sport accessible to children who otherwise might not be able to afford the equipment to participate in sporting activities.”

(Play It Again Sport/Climate Action Wales)

“Many families I know have an abundance of sporting equipment, clothing and shoes that the children have either outgrown or no longer use – it’s simply gathering dust in a garage or cupboard. We can offer a new home to these items. “

“The demand for our service has most definitely increased since we were first established, but I think the real challenge is still encouraging people to buy second-hand. Not only does it help keep items in use for longer, but it diverts perfectly good items from going into landfill.”

Each year, the charity diverts more than 15,000  items away from potentially ending up in the bin. By making it easy for households to reuse and recycle items and reduce their impact on the environment, Play It Again Sport is helping to create a cleaner, greener Wales.

For ways you can take action on climate change, search Climate Action Wales and click on the Daily Choices page.


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