Students from St. Jerome Catholic School in North York received an exciting surprise – skates.
Evan Kosiner is the co-founder of Skate To Great, a national skate drive that pairs up new and used skates, as well as other skating related equipment, with numerous schools, youth programs and charities across the country for youth in need.
“There’s lots of people doing their own thing, but there wasn’t one organization to bring all these hockey and skating related programs together,” said Kosiner.
“So, we started Skate To Great and we started collecting skates.”
Each spring, Kosiner and his team travel across the country asking Canadians for gently used skates and hockey sticks to donate for youth who will put the equipment to good use.
After all of the donations are gathered, the equipment is shipped to Skate To Great’s facility in Toronto. It’s there where laces are replaced, equipment is freshened up and prepared for distribution.
“We’ve collected about 25,000 pairs of skates. We just received our largest helmet shipment of almost 10,000 helmets,” said Kosiner.
Regardless of the recipients’ circumstances, Kosiner said he believes skating should be a right, not a privilege, for every child.
“Growing up as a kid, I had a lot of opportunities to go skating. It was one of my favourite times that I got to go play with my friends after school,” said Kosiner.
“It was something I wanted to pass on and there’s lots of kids who weren’t as fortunate as I was growing up.”
With the partnership between Skate To Great and the Toronto Catholic District School Board, students at St. Jerome Catholic School are creating bonds over their pleasant surprise.