News Item Details

County Cancels Winter Sports Season; Launches Sports Equipment Lending Program

October 19, 2020

Today, Botetourt County announced that all winter recreation league activities, including basketball programming, will not take place this year. This decision comes as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise both regionally and nationally and as limitations about the safe use of facilities become front and center. Youth basketball relies primarily on school gymnasiums.  County and school officials agreed that opening indoor facilities to recreation programming would be too great of a health risk for recreation program participants, school personnel, and students.

“This is a sad day for all of us as 2020 takes its toll on another sports season,” said County Administrator Gary Larrowe. “While youth sports provide clear benefits to the County’s children and communities, the risk of disease transmission simply remains too high to proceed with winter sports. The Schools took the appropriate step of limiting gym use to help ensure that they can focus on educating our kids in as safe an environment as possible. This decision, while incredibly difficult, is the right thing to do”

In order to help offer some recreation alternatives in light of having to cancel league sports this winter, the Botetourt County Libraries have partnered with Parks and Recreation to provide free sports equipment rentals for Botetourt County residents.

“We realize that many people have been disappointed when recreation league sports were canceled due to COVID-19,” said Julie Phillips, Library Director. “We also know that the physical and mental exercise of sports activities boost learning and retention skills. The body and mind go hand-in-hand. That’s why we partnered with Parks and Recreation to get equipment to our community so that kids and adults can play and practice on their own.”

Botetourt County Parks and Recreation provided sports equipment for the Libraries to add to the collection and loan to people who lack the right equipment at home. Library staff organized the collection, adding the items to the online catalog so they can be easily requested online.

The sports equipment collection includes: baseballs, bats (5 sizes), t-balls, basketballs, pee-wee footballs, soccer balls (3 sizes), lacrosse and whiffle ball sets, traffic cones, and round disc cones.

To request an item online, go to, find the sports collection, and click on the item of interest to be redirected to the online catalog for placing a hold. To request an item by phone, call any Botetourt County Libraries branch or (540) 928-2900.

The Libraries welcome donations of new or gently-used sports equipment to add to the collection. If you have equipment to donate, please call (540) 928-2900 and ask for Julie Phillips.




About Botetourt County

Botetourt County (Pop. 33,494) is a 542 sq. mile community in Southwestern Virginia. The rural community is located in the southwestern portion of the state in the scenic Roanoke Valley of Virginia. Strategically located on Interstate 81 and just 20 miles to Interstate 64, Botetourt County is accessible to the markets of the Mid-West and the East. Botetourt County has a five-member elected Board of Supervisors which oversees most of the county’s government-related operations. In addition, Botetourt County has a complete administrative staff that works under the direction of a County Administrator who is hired by the Board of Supervisors to run day-to-day operations. 

Botetourt County Libraries

The Botetourt County Libraries have four branches in Blue Ridge, Buchanan, Eagle Rock, and Fincastle with approximately 160,000 physical and digital resources in the collections. The purpose of the Botetourt County Libraries is to meet the needs of the County’s residents for information, education and recreation. The Libraries meet these needs by offering collections of books and media for loan to the general public as well as providing programs and other services for children and adults. As a member of the Roanoke Valley Library Consortium, Botetourt patrons may also obtain books and other materials from the collections of the Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Salem libraries at no charge.