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Recycling kit and equipment

Bobby pulls on those boots, he's a different child, his self esteem and confidence have gone through the roof. He's made a new circle of friends, and he's joined a sporting group.

Clive Michallat, co-founder, on one of the recipients

Action for Sport helps children like Bobby, whose family can't afford to buy sports kit. 

The charity is committed to promoting sport, preventing barriers and protecting the environment. It was founded by a senior education consultant and former prison officer with a shared passion for sport and the environment.

The charity aims to: 

  • encourage people to participate in and experience the benefits of sport
  • remove the barrier of cost for people in poverty
  • recycle sports clothing, footwear and equipment to protect the environment.   

How they started out 

As a teacher, I noticed that some children weren’t able to participate in PE and sport because their families couldn’t afford the sports kit... Some children were even missing school on PE days... this was the motivation we needed to establish Action for Sport. 

Andrew Kenure, Action for Sport's co-founder

The charity started out in 2018, by asking for donations of boots, trainers and sports clothing. There was a great response from members of the public, sports clubs, businesses and other organisations. 

The kit was checked and sanitised, then distributed to disadvantaged children in schools. 

In the first six months, Action for Sport helped 4,654 families by redistributing £82,000 worth of sports kit, that tipped the scales at 2.91 tonnes. That's the weight of a white rhino. 

Forming partnerships with big brands 

We have helped one family, every hour, of every day, for the last six months and have changed so many lives for the better by giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy sport and the benefits it can bring.

Andrew Kenure, Action for Sport's co-founder

Action for Sport now collaborates with some of the biggest sports brands in the world including Nike, Saucony and Asics. 

They've identified that millions of pounds worth of kit is returned to sports shops across the UK each year. A lot of this can’t be resold, and is now being redistributed to children who need it. 

There's a knock-on impact for the entire area, where kit is distributed, including: 

  • Better health
  • Improved crime statistics
  • A reduction in absenteeism in the schools

Commitment to the planet 

An estimated 90% of trainers are outgrown, but not outworn, at the point of going to landfill.

Many of these trainers are now recycled by Action for Sport. 

This saves tonnes of kit from going to landfill or ending up as pellets for 3G football pitches. 

The charity audits every item it receives. Each piece of kit has an average weight that is used to estimate the savings on landfill waste. 

To date, Action for Sport has saved over 7.6 tonnes of kit from landfill.   

That's the weight of two female elephants. 

Targeting areas

The charity prides itself on not means testing those who request kit.

Instead, they use government data for certain areas, and an online form that schools, parents or individuals can fill out for themselves or others. 

Establishing a distribution network

The charity is now involved with Active Partnerships. The requests are now coordinated centrally and Active Partnerships deliver the kit. 

Active Kent and Medway have also got involved and use local charity shops to store the donated kit. 

The charity is developing an app that will include educational material, access to discounted clothing, applications for donated kits and signposting to local activities.

They'll still accept written kit requests to ensure that the kit and equipment gets to those who need it most. 

How you can get involved 

Get in touch with Action for Sport - or follow their lead. 

Why not begin by asking your participants if they have any trainers or kit that they would like to donate back to your club/group?

If you know that someone is struggling to purchase new kit, then pass them on.

Alternatively, if you've got lost property that hasn’t been claimed in some time, then check it’s clean and offer it to others. 

It's always great to help others... and the planet.

Action for Sport See more of their story on YouTube