Botetourt County Parks and Rec. and libraries offer sports equipment lending program


BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Botetourt County recently had to make the difficult decision of canceling its winter rec sports season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Botetourt’s Parks and Rec. use school facilities for team sports, but due to COVID-19, many schools were hesitant to allow winter sports.

However, county staff is looking at the glass half-full in this situation.

“We made a really hard decision,” said Julie Phillips, Library Director for Botetourt County Libraries.” You know, we have to cancel winter sports, but there’s a silver lining.”

That silver lining is loaning out sports equipment to families who want it. Otherwise, it just sits in storage.

“We realize that everybody really misses the team environment, but if you have friends or if you have family you can get together with them and play basketball,” Phillips said. “You can get together with them and play soccer.”

“We were really pleased whenever internal staff came up with that idea,” said County Administrator, Gary Larrowe.

Now, checking out equipment is like checking out a book at the library, with a four-week return window.

“There’s a handy link to go straight to the sports equipment page,” Phillips described. “You can see pictures of everything that we have. Click on whatever strikes your fancy. It will take you to an online catalog for you to then place a hold.”

“Some families may not be able to afford to go out to buy new equipment for their kid to be able to do this,” Larrowe said. “Allowing kids to have the opportunity to have some of the sporting equipment, that’s one of the least things that we could end up doing.”

To place an order, you’ll need to know your library card information and pick the library closest to your home. The library calls you to let you know your gear is ready for pickup, and a fun time is only moments away.

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