Flint, MI — Flint community members will soon be able to check out sports and recreation equipment from Flint schools and local community centers — at no cost.

The Crim Fitness Foundation will provide and maintain the equipment at 13 Flint area schools that offer programming through the Community Education Initiative, as well as four community centers: Berston Field House, Flint Development Center, Latinx Technology and Community Center, and Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village.

The new equipment will be available to the public beginning in March thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

“The Crim is excited to be able to offer free sports equipment to the Flint community. Over the last decade, we’ve been proud to provide sports and recreation opportunities for youth and adults. Now, thanks to the Mott Foundation we’ll be able to expand our efforts to increase the tradition of sports and recreation for the Flint community,” said Sharon Davenport, Crim program director for Physical Activity, Sports and Nutrition.

Crim staff will ask people at each of the schools and community centers about their interests. They’ll provide equipment that community members will be able to check out for casual pickup games, and they’ll also supply leagues with equipment. While the inventory will be customized to each site, equipment likely will include soccer balls and nets, footballs and flags for football, cones for use in a variety of sports, referee whistles, pickle balls and rackets, volleyballs and nets, basketballs, floor hockey equipment, and gymnastic mats.

“Through community conversations and surveys, residents have told us they want to increase access to recreational activities for people of all ages,” said Ridgeway White, Mott Foundation president and CEO. “We hope this grant will help Flint residents take part in activities they enjoy. We also hope it will provide more ways for people to play sports together across the community.”

The Community Education Initiative currently includes the Crim Sports program, which aims to teach young students the fundamentals of a variety of sports, utilize sports-based youth development curriculum to develop leadership skills, and train coaches and athletes in mindfulness. The grant from the Mott Foundation will give the Crim Fitness Foundation the opportunity to expand their existing work, collaborate with more sites to connect youth and adults to sports and physical activity opportunities, and support community-building in Flint.

For more information on how to check out equipment, contact Davenport at 810-600-5817 or sdavenport@crim.org.

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