New sports store offers community a place to base their activities

Yusuf Ibrahim-Zai, store manager of Helix Sport UK, which is opening in Dorridge next month aiming to unite the community in sport


Sports lovers will be gearing up for the opening of a new store in Solihull which promises not only to kit them out with everything they need but will provide a real community hub for those who love outdoor activities and want a healthy lifestyle.

Helix Sport, on Station Road, Dorridge will open its’ doors in early August, offering enthusiasts of three of Britain’s most popular sports the chance to get all their gear under one roof.

And not only will cyclists, swimmers and runners find experts on hand to assist them with their shopping but the team behind the project plan to create a real sports’ hub for the community right in the heart of Dorridge. With British cyclist Chris Froome having once again won the Tour De France the shop is bracing itself for an influx of cycling enthusiasts. 

Tony Wright and his business partner, Peter Tomlinson – both keen triathletes, have been creating the concept of Helix for more than seven years. Together they plan to establish a base where runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes can meet up and exchange tips and stories whilst being fitted with their latest running shoes or being measured for their dream bike.

The pair hope to sponsor and support local running and cycling clubs to provide some real community spirit amongst their new customer base as well as becoming a one-stop shop for the area when it comes to their sporting needs.

Not only will the store offer a community hub but will offer a range of services including Bike Fit, Bikes service and repair, sports bra fitting, gait analysis and even lessons in how to put on a wet suit correctly. 

Alongside service and advice, some top brands have joined the store including Cervelo, Cannondale and Specialized, Café Du Cycliste, Adidas, On Running, Salomon, Brooks, Saucony, Speedo and Huub. 

Tony explained that as new independent shop, it had the advantage of mixing good old-fashioned customer service with up-to-the-minute services such as click and collect – still quite a rarity with independent stores. He said credit finance agreements could also be offered on some of its’ top selling bikes.

He said: “We want to create a real community feel – a hub where like-minded sports enthusiasts can share stories of their latest achievements over a coffee, where clubs can meet, where athletes and amateurs alike can try out the latest technology and where children can come and discover more about sport. We want to help those who want to get back into sport on their way. Everyone is welcome.”

“The shop has been a vision of mine for many years and Peter and I are now close to getting the doors open and start helping the people of the region and beyond to get active and enjoy their sport.”

As well as technical equipment the store will stock sports clothing for all shapes and sizes and has been selected by sportswear giant Adidas to be grouped alongside top flight retailers – again unusual for a new independent store.

The staff led by manager Yusuf Ibrahim-Zai have been trained in all aspects of custom fitting and gait analysis and have knowledge of the brands inside out and will be working hard over the coming weeks to create a pool of ambassadors to represent the store at events from Iron Man competitions to a first 5k.

Tony added that staff would take customers out on the bikes to try before they buy and would also assess their needs on a ReTul bike-fit machine.

Yusuf said it was hoped to host a soft launch for the store in the coming weeks with a grand launch later in the year. While the store has taken longer than expected, staff are now excited for the grand opening with a date set to be fixed soon.

Yusuf said: “We are confident people will be really excited by what we have done. There really is nowhere like this in the region and we are all geared up and desperate to open the doors and start welcoming people soon.”

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