Lacrosse enthusiasts now have a local shop to get their gear
Janelle Sullivan has played lacrosse for a dozen years.
On Friday, her enthusiasm for the sport will move from fields and arenas to a north Red Deer strip mall.
That’s where Sullivan is opening Slash Lacrosse, a store that will specialize in equipment and clothing for her favourite game.
She explained that local options are currently limited to generic, entry-level gear in general sporting goods stores.
“We’re trying to strive for the higher-end stuff, because we do have a lot of good lacrosse players in Red Deer who end up going to the States or to Edmonton of Calgary to play more competitively.”
While Slash Lacrosse will carry the major brands coveted by experienced players, it will also serve the needs of new entrants to the sport, said Sullivan.
That will include basic starter packages.
“We want to draw in younger players who haven’t tried it out, and still be affordable for them and their families,” she said.
The store will also sell sports therapy products like braces and wraps, which Sullivan said would be suitable for athletes in other sports.
Now in her mid-20s, Sullivan has seen phenomenol growth in lacrosse since she joined the sport as a girl. Children’s, youth and adult teams now exist in Red Deer and elsewhere in Central Alberta.
“There are teams all over in the little towns outside of Red Deer,” said Sullivan, who is on the executive of the Red Deer Major Lacrosse Association.
Many players travel to Calgary, Edmonton or elsewhere to get the equipment they need — including sticks, helmets, mouthguards, shoulder pads, kidney pads, slash guards for arms, gloves and runners. Sullivan felt it was time to offer a local option.
In addition to carrying high-quality products, Slash Lacrosse will also have the expertise to help the uninitiated, she said.
“All of my staff have played lacrosse for many years, so they’re all going to be able to answer anybody’s questions.”
The store will operate out of 1,824-square-foot premises at No. 11, 6200 67A St. — near Heritage Lanes bowling alley.
It will be open Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Those hours will be extended in the spring when the new lacrosse season gets underway.
Sullivan even plans to take Slash Lacrosse on the road, selling equipment at tournaments in the area.
She’s optimistic local players will support the store, noting that she’s had a good response to the store’s Facebook page.