Calgary couple can’t bottle up passion for helping kids discover sports

Calgary couple can’t bottle up their passion for helping kids
WATCH: A retired Calgary couple spend seven days a week collecting refundable bottles for KidSport Calgary to help disadvantaged children play sports. Kevin Smith has more.

Gord Clayton can’t contain his passion for helping disadvantaged kids play sports.

Five years ago, he and his wife Laurie started a refundable pick-up service called Recycle For Life, which is partnered with the KidSport Calgary Recycling Program.

Gord says the hard work is worth it since every penny goes to KidSport.

“I love the fact that a little guy gets to go play organized sports with his buddies,” he said.

“He doesn’t have to say he can’t do it now because he doesn’t have money. Now he can.”

The Claytons are retired but are working harder than ever to support kids in Calgary.

READ MORE: KidSport warns it may not be able to help Calgary families pay for organized sport

Laurie does the administration while Gord drives through the city picking up recyclables. On Mondays, he picks up from households; the rest of the week, he collects from businesses. On weekends, the couple organizes bottle drives.

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“We do eight days a week— eight,” Laurie said. “We don’t stop. We do it everyday.”

KidSport Calgary helps 5,000 disadvantaged Calgary kids play sports each year.

WATCH: Rugby growing in Calgary as great sport for kids to get their stress out

Gord Clayton picks up refundables from WinSport in Calgary. May 29th, 2018.
Gord Clayton picks up refundables from WinSport in Calgary. May 29th, 2018. Global News

Last fall, WinSport became a partner and in the first four months, the Claytons picked up 70,000 containers from the venue to donate to the KidSport Calgary Recycling Program. That’s paid for 200 kids to to learn skating, skiing and snowboarding at Winsport.

KidSport Executive Director Kevin Webster says none of this would be possible without the tireless work by the Claytons.

READ MORE: WinSport ski hill has seen variety of changes since 1988 Winter Games

“For two retired individuals, this is a full-time job,” Webster said. “We are very fortunate to have them supporting KidSport and doing the amazing work.”

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Gord and Laurie want to collect even more than they already do; they’ll even come to your home if you call them.

“Any business can have these bins, the bags, a call,” Laurie said, “it all goes to KidSport.”

The Claytons are hoping to one day build a foundation to formalize what they’re doing.

“It’s for the kids,” Gord said. “We’re going to leave this legacy, we’re going to leave it behind.”