A Good Sport Co. in Eagle sells used gear without passing on germs | VailDaily.com

A Good Sport Co. in Eagle sells used gear without passing on germs

As a mom of two kids involved in "gear intensive sports," Celena Olden knew there was a need for a local good quality used sports and outdoor gear shop.

But it wasn't until she got serious about opening A Good Sport Co. that she uncovered another pressing and related need. Sports equipment — especially gear that is slated for resale — needs to be thoroughly sanitized. That process involves more than just running things through a hot cycle on the washing machine or dousing them with a hearty doze of disinfectant spray.

Both those needs are now married at Olden's Eagle shop — A Good Sport Co. — located along U.S. Highway 6 and the evolving nature of her sanitizing services has gone mobile.

Gear needs

Olden opened A Good Sport Co. in December 2016. The business was inspired by her search for hockey pads for her son. When Sports Authority went bankrupt, Olden's only choice was to order something on line, wait for it to arrive and then have her son try it on. When things didn't fit, she was faced with repackaging the items, shipping them back out and monitoring her bank account to make sure her refund was issued.

"This is something I wanted to do for many years and I felt there are a lot of families in the valley who wanted to find affordable sports equipment because kids grow out of it so quickly," said Olden.

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For shoppers, there is a wide array of gear — everything from skates and skis to cleats and helmets. Along with the used sports equipment, Olden also offers new merchandise, mostly representing Colorado companies. She has an array of T-shirts, socks, hats, water bottles, pet supplies and more. She is particularly proud to sell Siso mouth guards — teeth protectors for kids that allow the wearer to speak and drink without having to be removed.

On the resale equipment side, Olden requires that gear brought to her shop be clean and in good shape. She pays on a tiered scale so people who consign items valued at under $400 receive half of the sales price. Consignors earn an increased amount in $400 increments up to 80 percent of items prices at $2,800 and more. "That is if someone brings in a high quality raft or a Jet Ski or something like that," Olden explained.

Leave the stink behind

Step into the back room of A Good Sport Co. and something immediately hits you. Actually, to be more accurate, something doesn't hit you. There's used sports equipment everywhere and there's no locker room smell.

When Olden decided to open the used gear shop, she knew she needed to have the ability to sanitize her merchandise. Her experience with her hockey-playing son again proved to be a catalyst for what her business offers.

She recalled how she tried everything to get the stink out of his hockey gear. She washed what she could, sprayed products on what she couldn't wash and routinely set everything out in the sun to let it air. When those methods failed to bring measurable or lasting results, she started studying the problem and was disturbed by what she discovered.

"You can't use enough hot water or chemicals to get rid of the stink because it is caused by bacteria," she said. "People don't know what the smell means. The smell is unleashing bacteria and it's actually dangerous."

Repeat what Olden did and Google "staph infection in athletes." A wealth of information from reputable sources will pop up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers extensive advice about the subject and noted that while some forms of staph can be treated with antibiotics, others cannot. MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, falls into the later category.

The CDC notes "MRSA is a bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. Staph and MRSA can cause a variety of problems ranging from skin infections and sepsis to pneumonia to bloodstream infections."

The CDC theorizes that MRCA is spread among athletes because they have repeated skin-to-skin contact, they get cuts and breaks in the skin that allow MRCA to enter the body and cause infection and they share items and surfaces that come into direct skin contact. After her research, Olden knew if she planned to resell sports equipment that had direct contact with the body, she had to be able to sanitize it.

"These infections are so easy to prevent and so difficult to control," said Olden.

After a lot more research, she opted to invest in a Sani Sport system.

Good enough for the NHL…

"Twenty-eight teams in the National Hockey League own the exact same machine, along with 15 NFL teams, six MLB teams and all the U.S. military branches," Olden said.

The Sport Sani system uses ozone as its sanitizing agent. "As a cleaning agent, O3 is up to 3,200 times faster acting and up to 150 times more powerful than chlorine bleach. As a result, O3 rapidly kills bacteria, fungus and other pathogens. Further, 03 also does not leave any residue on materials," notes sani-sport.com. The company's website also provides independent lab results that indicate its system can reduce the presence of harmful bacteria by up to 98 percent. Virtually any item, including gear with leather of metal fasteners, can be placed in a Sani Sport cabinet.

It only takes 15 minutes to run a Sani Sport cycle and Olden has expanded that part of her business to include not only the cabinet at her store, but also a mobile unit that she frequently brings to recreation facilities during tournaments. Those mobile visits give coaches the opportunity to load up team gear and sanitize away. The cost is $35 per cycle.

"It's kind of like how we brush our teeth every day, but we go to the dentist twice a year. It's a hard reset," Olden said.

It's also a service that has applications beyond sports gear. Olden noted that items ranging from body armor to books can be placed in a Sani Serve cabinet.

"We could show up at a preschool and put the things the kids play with, and can't be washed, in the cabinet to sanitize them," Olden said. "There is really no limit as to what can be put inside of them."

Her sanitizing rabbit hole has reached even deeper. As she learned more about the subject, Olden also invested in a room unit.

Sanitizing on the road

With her room unit, Olden can sanitize an up to 1,000 square foot area.

"It hits every surface," she noted. That includes not only ceilings, floors, walls and counters but also door knobs, light switches, telephones and more.

So, for example, when bug strikes at an office, Olden could sanitize the space to remove the presence of bacteria, viruses and even foul odors. The process only takes an hour and its safe to re-enter the room as soon as the sanitizing cycle is completed.

"This process is complete in a way that human beings are not. Humans can miss spots," she said.

Olden said local coaches, teams and even a physician have already embraced her sanitizing services.

"I offer a special rate to high school athletes to encourage them to use this service more often because they are in their equipment every day," she said.

In the end Olden said her two operations work together to ensure quality used sports equipment can find a new home without any hitchhiking bacteria coming along. At A Good Sport Co. the gear, not the germs, go out the door.

A Good Sport Company

Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The business is located at the corner of Fourth and McIntire streets along U.S. Highway 6 in Eagle. The shop can be reached at 970-328-5545. Check out its Facebook page at A Good Sport Co.