The owners of the UK’s first chain of charity sports shops have opened a second store in the Potteries.
Sports Traider – who provide opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled children – recently opened the doors to a brand new store inside the Potteries Centre.
Visitors will find plenty of brand names such as Regatta, Kickers, Tokyo and Speedo all priced at £5 or less.
Purchases help to support local communities with the charity providing sports participation and employment opportunities.
Founder and former Unsung Hero at the BBC Sports Personality Awards, Lance Haggith started the charity after seeing the benefits that sports gave to his own children and the positive impact on their social skills.
Lance said: “After starting out as a youth centre we primarily looked after young carers but then I started to notice children coming in without coats or sports footwear because they could not afford them, so I started to go into schools to ask for any unwanted equipment or training shoes and distributed them to children.”
After seeing the demand for sports kit, Lance started the charity 12 years ago, and in 2016 the first Potteries Sports Traider shop was opened in Lamb Street, Hanley. The brand new store is located on the middle floor of the Potteries Centre, opposite Ruff n Ruby and next to Lush.
As well as providing funding for sports activities, Sports Traider – which has 10 shops in various locations throughout the UK – also champions inclusive employment in their stores by offering employment opportunities to ex-offenders and people with additional needs.
Lance adds: “Since opening the first shop in Hanley, we have helped to provide employment opportunities and supported young people, sports groups and other local organisations. Stoke-on-Trent is a great place and so many talented sports people have come from the City. We want to make sports as accessible as we can and over the years we have worked with young people who have gone on to play at Premier League Football teams and represented the UK in the Olympics.
“We, at Sports Traider want to make sure there are opportunities for young people in Stoke-on-Trent and really value the support in helping us to help local communities – who knows we could find the next Premiership footballer or Olympic champion.”
Amy Whittaker, General Manager of The Potteries Centre, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to welcome the Sports Traider team to The Potteries Centre. This opening marks their second store at the centre and builds on the successes of their store on Lamb Street. The work they do as a charity and business is really inspiring. Not only are they helping to provide much-needed employment for young adults and disadvantaged groups, but through their charity work they also provide essential support and access to sports equipment to so many young adults and families in need.
“Sport participation has widespread benefits for so many – from improved mental health to greater levels of fitness. However, the sad reality is, not everyone can afford access to sports equipment which is why shops like Sports Traider which provide discounted sports products are so important.
“Support for local independents and charitable causes has always been a priority for us and earlier this year we made a commitment to doing all we could to ensure we do our bit to support the region’s independents. The Lamb Street Sports Traider store has been really popular since its launch so we’re sure the arrival of the second Sports Traider store will be really well received too. We look forward to witnessing first-hand the great work they do right here within our shopping centre and across Stoke.”
In April Sports Traider launched a campaign in April called – #Jump4Health which is to raise awareness and support the charity’s mental health services.
Celebrities, front-line workers and sports stars – such as Stoke-on-Trent born Anthea Turner, BBC TV presenter Mike Bushel and Monty Panesar – have been taking part in the challenge which is to skip for around 20 seconds, non-stop, before nominating others to do the same.
Newcastle-under-Lyme’s Seabridge Primary School also held their very own special #jump4health day before the summer holidays and the charity is now calling for more schools to take part.
For more information visit https://www.sportstraider.com/