Sporting Pro opening at Riverside on Thursday

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SPORTING Pro, the new sports fascia owned by value fashion chain Matalan, will open at Coleraine’s Riverside Regional Park this Thursday.

The store will occupy the former premises of JJB Sports and will create 27 full and part-time jobs.

The retailer said opening dates will be announced “shortly”. In total, it aims to open 14 stores across the UK this autumn, creating 370 jobs.

Head of Sporting Pro and former JJB chief executive Tom Knight said: “Our first stores are near completion and we’re looking forward to seeing the public’s reaction.

“A tremendous amount of planning and imagination has gone into creating sport stores that offer shoppers something different.”

“Customers can have individual gait analysis assessments, which look at how a person moves, conducted by in-store specialists on treadmills. These help to pinpoint any posture or movement related problems. Our fitness experts will be on hand to advise customers how to move more effectively and fully benefit from their exercise regimes.”

The shops will feature printed flooring resembling sports courts, pitches and running tracks. Customers will be able to purchase custom-moulded insoles by sports industry foot specialist FootBalance and have gait analysis assessments conducted on in-store treadmills.

Stores will be split into categories including team sports, outdoor, racket sports, running and junior and have a strong women’s presence with an “extensive range” of footwear, clothing and sports equipment. Sporting Pro also confirmed it is launching a reward card scheme with 1% going to local sport.