Students helping students play

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Pictured in the W.T. Chipman’s Community Sports Closet are Erica Bundschuh, Paige Bundschuh, Jessica Boyer, Lacy Bayley, Julianna Tyndall, Grace Aguilar, Bailey Dean, Leslie Webb, and Alexis Wright.

HARRINGTON — Sports mean a lot to Paige Bundschuh and her family. Last fall she had an idea that has grown into a way for others in the Lake Forest region to make sports a part of their lives.
“I’ve played sports my whole life,” Paige said.
Last year, Paige attended a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference. During the conference she contemplated a lot about community service and how to give back. She thought about sports and her time at W.T. Chipman Middle School, and the Lake Forest High School student had an idea.
Paige wanted to make it easier for others to play sports. So with the assistance of her sister Erica Bundschuh, she set out to create a sports closet. A collection of donated sports equipment — cleats, helmets, field hockey sticks, rackets, balls, etc. — ready to lend, free of charge to anyone that wants to play.
Paige brought her idea to W.T. Chipman Principal Doug Brown, he thought it was a homerun.
“School and sport go hand in hand,” said Principal Brown. “With the sports closet anybody can play.”
Mr. Brown added that the sports closet isn’t just open for school sports.
“The price to play little league has gone up. If you want to try out some equipment before you buy or you can’t afford your own equipment, come check out the sports closet,” he said.
When Paige brought the idea to Mr. Brown, the school put out the word that it was looking for sports equipment donations. When the donations started coming in, Mr. Brown created a space for the effort. He found a large storage area perfect for the initiative. Student volunteers came in, cleaned the donations and set up the system to lend the equipment. The Chipman Community Sports Closet was born.
Almost every sport is represented in the closet. They even have a pitching machine.
The effort is continually accepting donations.
The daily operations of the sports closet is run by the middle school’s honor society students. Since it opened it has lent a few students equipment and is looking forward to serving more.
“It’s great. It’s a student idea, it’s completely student run,” Mr. Brown said.
The school’s parent organization is even jumping in to help. It recently raised $500 for the sports closet so the students can purchase more equipment to lend.
When asked what her hopes were for the initiative she started, Paige said, “I hope it grows. I hope it continues.”
For more information, to borrow equipment, or make a donation call 302-398-8197. Donations can be dropped off at the school at 101 W. Center St. Harrington, DE 19952.

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