A PROJECT to help children and families with sporting equipment has snowballed.
Sue Watts launched a free shop, Bootaful Sports 4 All, from her home in Barry in June 2020 after she was inspired by a similar initiative in Swansea.
She collects donations for children’s sports equipment – namely shoes and boots – which she sanitises, bags, and labels ready for children and families to collect.
Ms Watts, who is a LSA at Rumney Primary School and has previously worked as a children’s fitting assistant at Clarks, said: “So many families are struggling to afford children’s kits.
“Children’s feet grow so fast it’s hard to keep up – if someone wants to try a new sport but isn’t sure then this can help reduce the expense.”
Bootaful Sports 4 All has had support from Vale of Glamorgan Council and Pendragon, with it now moving from Ms Watt’s backroom to a specially designed shed: The Sports Hut.
Community Investment and Involvement Officer with Vale of Glamorgan Council said: “Sue approached me with this project idea and the Community Investment team viewed this as a great community benefit opportunity.
“Working alongside Pendragon the team funded The Sports Hut and provided signage. I think it’s a brilliant concept and a fantastic way of encouraging families and children into sport and physical activity. We were really pleased to be able to help promote Sue’s good work as a volunteer.”
The Sports Hut has ‘taken off big time’ and has a Facebook group ‘Bootaful Sports 4 All’ with more than 400 members. The Sports Hut offers free sports footwear for children – including astro turf trainers, studded shoes, and rugby boots – and sports equipment such as socks, training gear, and protective gear.
Welsh Rugby Clubs Lodge No.9986 has shown support for the project, donating money towards lighting for the hut and cleaning products to sanitise donated goods.
“I’m happy to be there for families and kids that need me,” added Ms Watts.
“We’ve had fantastic support and it’s brilliant that so many have got involved.”