Sunday, April 21, 2024

This equipment consignment shop in Colwood is making sports accessible for everyone

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Parents, kids, students—anyone with a love for sports or a curiosity to play knows how expensive buying new gear can be. 

Which is why Kira and Dennis Frenette opened up a Play It Again Sports West Shore store in Colwood last February, and since then have been a pillar for community members hoping to find more affordable options for sporting equipment.

Play It Again Sports is located on Island Highway, and all of their used gear is donated by individuals that either no longer need it or have grown out of it, which means that it’s still in really good shape.

Their selection features gently-used gear for a multitude of different sports as well as helpful accessories such as underlayers for hockey equipment.

(Play It Again Sports / Courtesy of Kira Frenette)

In an interview with Victoria Buzz, co-founder Kira Frenette said that they inspect everything that comes through their doors, ensuring it’s gently-used and is suitable for the next person who needs it. 

“It’s really expensive to buy new, especially if you’re only getting one season—because kids grow—so, we want to make it more accessible for everyone.”

There are a few different options available for donating used gear, including accepting a cash payment in exchange, receiving in-store credit, or donating your monetary compensation to an organization called Sport Assist!

Sport Assist is an organization that helps kids in the West Shore area with getting equipment and helping with registration fees.

“Not only are we keeping gear out of the landfill, we’re also helping other kids in the community with gear they may not have, or providing a monetary donation for registration fees,” Frenette said.

“There’s a lot of kids who don’t get the opportunity to play sports, and kids shouldn’t have to sit on the sidelines. Every child should be able to play a sport.”

No appointment is needed if you want to pop into the store to donate and/or say hello. Additionally, they do offer some new equipment too, if that is something that appeals to you.

(Kira Frenette with Nicole Briffett)

Their support doesn’t end there either, they’ve started a new program that involves reaching out to different businesses in search of a worthy volunteer of the month.

Once the nominee is selected, they receive a $100 giftcard to their store!

Since this new program’s launch in January, they’ve been reaching out to organizations that host whichever sport is currently in season. This month, for example, featured the Peninsula Hockey and February will be Victoria Admirals minor hockey league. 

The spring will bring different soccer associations into the mix as well as other spring-season sports.

“It’s still new but it’s been really well-perceived so far, so we’re excited to continue.”

Frenette added that it’s amazing how many wonderful people you meet through sporting communities across the city, and one of her favourite things about being in the business is finding ways to positively impact their lives. 

(Play It Again Sports / Courtesy of Kira Frenette)

She mentioned that it’s normal this time of year to have a lull in traffic as the seasons have already started and people aren’t as in demand for used gear. 

However, both Dennis and Kira hope to remind people not only in the West Shore community, but across Greater Victoria, that they’re always around and appreciate donations as well as anyone willing to take a look at what they offer.  

“It’s been really slow. We thought that being open for almost a year now would mean more people would know about us,” Frenette confessed.

“Everyone in the West Shore does, but we’re trying to reach the rest of Victoria to let them know that we’re here to help all year round.”

In fact, this Friday, February 2nd they’ll be hosting a “cleat buy” event where people can bring in their gently used cleats in an effort to give their customers more of a selection.

“It can be soccer cleats, football cleats, baseball cleats, lacrosse cleats—we’re just looking to amp up our collection.”

The same buy-back options apply, whether you’re hoping for cash, in-store credit, or a donation to Sport Assist.

“Just come in and check out the store! See for yourself what we’re all about. Prices are lower than what you would find in retail by at least 70%,” Frenette said.

“See what we have, we’d be happy to help.”

By supporting Play It Again Sports West Shore, you’re not only supporting a local business, you’re directly impacting the lives of the children around you who want to play sports and make friends.

Play It Again Sports West Shore

  • Where: 1790 Island Highway Unit 107
  • When: 
    • Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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