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Sports retail concept with a social conscience opens at CSC's Harlequin 03 February 2012

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Capital Shopping Centres’ (CSC) The Harlequin Centre in Watford has introduced a socially responsible retail concept which helps disabled or disadvantaged youngsters in the local community access sports equipment and facilities that would otherwise be unavailable to them with the opening of its new SportsTraider store this week.

The market leading shopping centre group is working with SportsTraider, a unique trading and charity concept which launched in Bedford in November 2009 and currently has stores in Bedford, Luton and Leicester. The store, which opened yesterday, is the first in the CSC portfolio.

SportsTraider, which is run by former sports brand CEO and basketball star Lance Haggith, sells donated second-hand and new sportswear and equipment at discounted prices through its stores enabling youngsters who would normally be unable to afford such kit to more readily access what they need. The money raised through the retail stores is then reinvested into coaching, access to facilities and equipment and even in some cases the transport talented but disadvantaged young athletes need to get to training.

Haggith said: “Our stores have a huge social impact – not only do we create opportunities for more people to access sports but we create jobs for the disadvantaged and also reduce landfill and increase recycling in the areas where we have our stores.”

Alexander Nicoll, Director of Corporate Responsibility for CSC, said: “SportsTraider is a unique and extremely worthwhile concept which we are thrilled to be able to support within The Harlequin. Our centres operate at the heart of their local communities so CSC’s support for an initiative such as this not only opens up sport to all, mirroring our key themes of youth inclusion, but also promotes our policies on waste diversion.”

SportsTraider is aiming to have 150 stores across the UK within five years. In 2010 Haggith was named BBC Sports Unsung Hero for 2010 at the Sports Personality of the Year awards for his SportsTraider concept and his work coaching basketball for the underprivileged. In December 2011, he was awarded a Big Society award by David Cameron.

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