This week Leisure Time Sports turns 50-years old! That's right, our family owned and run sports shop has been serving our local community right here in Haddington for a whole half a century!


For those that don't really know us, let me tell you a bit of the story. The handsome guy on the right that's dressed like one of the Beatles - that's my dad, David, who started the business off back in 1972. Back then the business was Leisure Time Sports and Cycle, mainly because we sold those nifty wee numbers in the picture. My dad has always been really big on sports - a lifelong golfer, formerly a pretty handy squash player and longtime follower of rugby and football - so when it came to starting a business there was only really one thing he wanted to do.  

The other handsome guy, on the left of the picture, is my grandad, Ian Macdonald. At the time Leisure Time was opening, Grandad ran a successful removals and auction business. He was on hand to help my dad get off and going. 

Now the observant among you will notice that the shop front in the picture is not the same shop front we have now. That's because when the shop started, we were to be found in the building that backs onto us, which is now Caffe Luca. 


From then on the business got established and grew, selling all the essentials people wanted and needed for a variety of sports. A few years of growth later and we moved round into our current building where Leisure Time's reputation continued to grow.


Now, this is just my opinion, but us Macdonald's are generally a pretty friendly bunch. That has always been my experience, and I believe it to be the experience of lots of customers over the years due to the sheer number of parents now that share with my their memories of coming into the shop as a child... Those moments of magic of getting a first pair of rugby boots or coming and choosing some trainers and getting fitted. It's a whole magical, memorable experience that can easily be lost in an online age - the seeing, feeling, being fitted and advised, the trying on and the anticipation. 'Could these boots and that ball I can see over there be the ones to launch me to superstardome?' you ask yourself. We work hard to keep those moments alive in our store to this day.


That is something I'm often told to this day. For the record, he still is pretty helpful but - now that he's retired - his helpfulness is more directed towards my mum than towards fitting shoes.


Around 2014ish, my parents were over visiting us in Atlanta, GA, USA. My wife and I and our two boys lived there at the time where I worked for a big sports retailer. On that trip, my dad talked a little bit about the future and potential retirement plans. I've got to be honest, I just didn't like the idea of the shop closing. It had been such a big part of my life growing up and such a big part of our town and local community and there was a strong pull inside of me to see that continue into the future. And so we did...


In October 2016, my dad retired and I took over Leisure Time Sports which has been and continues to be awesome. So here we are celebrating our 50th Birthday!


We're still here on Market Street in Haddington but now online too (which you'll know, as you're reading this on our website!). We've ducked and weaved and adapted over the last few years (something about a pandemic or something...) but emerged tied even closer to our community, still working to provide an environment people enjoy coming to for great products, genuinely helpful advice and those little memorable moments.

I am really excited to mark this birthday and move into the future. Our appreciation for our customers and community is ever growing and we feel so privileged to carry our Leisure Time Sports experience into the future.

Thanks for reading (if you made it this far), for supporting us and for making it possible for us to be here 50-years on looking to the future with excitement!