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Big run on entries to Paisley 10k race

A RECORD number of entrants will take part in this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

last year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run

With just over a week to go until the popular event is held on Sunday, August 20, organisers Renfrewshire Leisure report that 2,944 people have already signed up to take part. There are 1869 racing in the 10k and 1075 taking part in the Fun Run.

At the same point last year, 2373 had signed up for the event, with 1596 for the 10k and 777 for the Fun Run.
And organisers are confident by the time race day comes along, there will well over 3000 people pounding the streets of Paisley town centre as there is still time to enter.

The Paisley 10k and Fun Run, which sets off shortly afterwards, is sponsored by sports and outdoors retailer, Decathlon and for the third year the official charity partner is Macmillan Cancer Support.

Many of the fun runners are being sponsored to raise much-needed funds for local charities, clubs and good causes with several entire football teams of youngsters taking part.

This year’s Paisley 10k race has £1200 of prize money and trophies up for grabs and for the fun runners, there are prizes for the first three boys and girls from primary and secondary schools over the finishing line.

You can register for the race by logging on to renfrewshireleisure.com or by telephoning 0300 300 1362 or picking up an entry form from any Renfrewshire Leisure venue.

The deadline for signing up is noon on Friday, August 18.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “If you’ll pardon the pun, we’ve had a fantastic run of entries to this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run!

“The 10k has grown to become a popular race in the calendar of events for the more serious runners and more and more people are staying fit and healthy by training for the Fun Run.

“Even if people aren’t taking part – and there’s still time to enter – I’d encourage everyone to come down and support their families and friends who are running.

“It’s an exciting day out for everyone and as well as the races, there will be lots going on in the town for people of all ages to enjoy.”

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Drop-in summer social clubs offer fun for Renfrewshire’s young people

Young people aged 10 – 18 years old looking for summer activities can drop into free youth social clubs during the school holiday period.

young people at Positive About Youth awards 2016 (credit to Erskine Music and Media Studios)

The summer sessions are provided by Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team to support young people looking to make new friends, meet up with existing friends and have fun together.

The drop-in sessions will offer a range of activities, including arts and crafts, gaming, trips, photography, digital art and film making, will be held on:

-Every Tuesday and Thursday, 1.30-3.30pm and 6.30-8.30pm (ages 10-16) at Foxbar Youth Learning Centre

-Every Tuesday, 6.30-8.30pm (junior ages) and Thursday 6.30-8.30pm (senior ages) at the GoZone, Glenburn

-Every Wednesday, 3.30-5.30pm (P6 and P7) or 6-8.30pm (S1+) at Bargarran Community Centre

-Wednesday 19 July, 1.30-3.30pm (P6, P7 and S1) at Glasgow Nepalese Association Hall, Gallowhill

-Thursday 20 and 27 July, 2-4pm (P6 and P7) or 5-7pm (ages 12-18) at the Tannahill Centre, Ferguslie

Young people will also be able to have their say on what’s important to them in their community by taking part in the youth services survey as well as finding out information, such as how to get a Young Scot card, joining a Youth Voice group or the new LGBT group, volunteering in the area or working towards a Duke of Edinburgh award.

Those interested in outdoor activities can learn how to build a shelter, make a campfire, using hammocks and swings as well as survival skills by signing up to a free bush craft skill sessions for 11-18 year olds.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “It is important that young people feel that they can have access to summer activities that suit them and help them feel part of the community.

“The summer drop-in sessions and clubs are a great way for young people to get to know each other outside of school and for them to have their say on what services they want and need from the youth services team.”

To find out more, visit young.scot/renfrewshire, email youth@renfrewshire.gov.uk or like /YoungRenfrewshire on Facebook.

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Joel’s marriage proposal is a work of art

ROMANTIC Joel Fagan chose a painting to go on display at Paisley Museum because it shows the exact spot where he proposed to his wife, Jennifer.

Joel Fagan points to the spot on the Loch Etive painting where he proposed

Joel, 24, is a collections assistant at the museum and along with other staff and members of Paisley Art Institute, was asked to select a painting for an exhibition called Random Selection.

When Joel was looking through photographs of paintings owned by the museum and the Art Institute, he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a painting of Loch Etive, by artist David Munro from 1872.

And on the bottom right hand corner of the painting he could even see the rocks where his then fiancé was sitting when he went down on one knee and asked: “Will you marry me?”

Joel and his wife, Jennifer on their wedding day

Now that painting will be one of 50 works featured in the free Random Selection exhibition, which opened on Friday, July 7 and runs until Monday, September 25.

Joel Fagan with the painting of Loch Etive, in Paisley Museum

Joel explained how he came to propose marriage two years ago during a trip to the remote Highlands of Scotland:

“We were working in England at the time, but Jennifer always had romantic ideas about Scotland and its scenery and wanted to visit.

‘So, I organised a five-day tour of Scotland and since I already had the engagement ring, planned to pop the question at some point during that holiday.
“We drove five miles down a single-track road to get to the lochside and had a picnic there. The scenery was so stunning I knew this was the right time and place to ask Jennifer if she would marry me.”

Joel continued: “Jennifer was sitting on the rocks – the same ones that you can see in the painting – looking out on to the water when I asked her to turn round. I had the ring in my hand and I told her that I hadn’t just brought her here for a picnic.

“I got down on one knee and asked if she would marry me. It was such an emotional moment that she started crying and said of course she would.”

The couple married earlier this year and now stay in Paisley.

Joel added: “When I was asked to choose some artwork for the exhibition and saw the painting I was shocked. It brought back some incredible memories for me.

“Jennifer can’t believe it either and I’ve no doubt she’ll be a regular visitor to the exhibition!”

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure – which runs arts, culture, sports and leisure facilities locally – Joyce McKellar said: “It’s amazing – and very romantic – that Joel came across a painting that means so much to him and his wife.

“The exhibition features a huge variety of paintings form 16th century religious art to modern contemporary works, so we expect it will be very popular.”

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Award winner wants sporting heroes nominations

A WINNER in last year’s Renfrewshire Sports Awards is urging people to nominate their unsung sporting heroes.

Jamie Arthur getting his award last year

Jamie Arthur, 24, is an Active Schools Coordinator and won the 2016 Disability Coach of the Year Award for his work with young people with disabilities.

Nominations for this year’s awards, covering a host of categories, close on Friday, June 30.

Award categories are Community Coach of the Year; Development Coach of the Year; Young Coach of the Year and Disability Coach of the Year.

There are also awards for Technical Official of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Young Volunteer of the Year and Event Volunteer of the Year. And for school sport there is an Honour Our Sport Award.

Jamie, who went to Johnstone High School, said: “It was a great feeling just to be nominated by someone who had looked at the categories and thought I was good enough to be considered for an award.
“I’d been nominated two years in a row which was a great honour, but to win the award last year felt amazing as it was great recognition for all the hard work I had done.”

He added: “The sport awards are a great concept, as the night is filled with coaches, volunteers and officials from all aspects of life together under the one roof. It’s great to see so many people who share the same passion in life as yourself.
“I’m all for local sport, and as an Active Schools coach and coordinator I think the impact and influence of local sport clubs and teams is extremely valuable as they provide great avenues for children to pursue a life in sport.”

Log on to www.renfrewshiresportsawards.com to make a nomination.

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Pupils graduate as good sports

DOZENS of secondary school pupils have shown they’re a class act when it comes to learning about sport and leisure.


A total of 57 Fifth and Sixth Year students have graduated from the Renfrewshire School of Sport Education.
This initiative, run by Renfrewshire Leisure, gives the students training for leisure and sports coaching awards and qualifications that could help them find work when they leave school, college or university.

Each pupil taking part has completed a minimum of 12 after-school sports workshops, a training weekend, First Aid and Child Protection instruction and has helped organise and run sporting events throughout the year.

The students, who received their graduation certificates at a ceremony in front of family and friends at Renfrew Town Hall, also had to complete 100 hours of volunteering during the year’s course.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chief executive, Joyce McKellar said: “All our graduates have come on leaps and bounds during their time on the course and we’ve seen their confidence build and their skills developed as sports coaches and event organisers.

“They themselves and their families should be proud of what they achieved.
“The course may have come to an end, but for the students what they have learned is just the start of achieving something special in their lives.”

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Renfrewshire and Clydeside’s industrial decline caught on camera

An exhibition of photographs showing the industrial decline of Renfrewshire and Clydeside in the mid Seventies has opened in Paisley Museum.

opening of an exhibition by New York photographer, Larry Herman at paisley museum

New York-born photographer, Larry Herman took the series of pictures between 1974 and 1976 when the once-heavily industrialised region was suffering from many shipyard and factory closures, as the economy foundered.

Herman has hand-printed a new set of 78 black and white gelatin prints for the free exhibition, which is being toured by Street Level Photoworks. The exhibition – Clydeside 1974-76 – runs from June 17 until August 20.

Several of the images were taken in Ferguslie and Linwood giving an intimate glimpse into the lives of local workers four decades ago.

Much of Herman’s work was held in a collection by the Scottish Arts Council, but has now been distributed to various holdings, including the National Galleries of Scotland.

Herman was born in New York, trained as a sculptor and immigrated to the UK during the Vietnam War.

His photography career flourished in the Seventies, but he gave up taking pictures in the Eighties and became a guard and train driver on the London Underground and then worked as a welder in a Sheffield steelworks. He took up photography again in 1993 and returned to London in 1999.

Herman said: “At the time I was shooting these pictures I had no idea they would have some resonance in 2017. I didn’t take the photographs with posterity in mind, but as a documentary of what was happening at the time.

“I photographed people in the situations they found themselves in and I wanted my work to be realistic.”

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, which runs sports, leisure and cultural facilities locally said: “People coming to see this exhibition will be able to take a step back in time.

“These photographs graphically document what was happening to the working-class of the area during an acute economic decline.


“The exhibition will be of particular interest to Renfrewshire as quite a few of the photographs were taken in Paisley and Linwood.”

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Stars came out for awards bash

The stars were out in force for the annual Renfrewshire Leisure staff awards bash.

Colin Pratt receiving his Chief Executive’s Award from Renfrewshire Leisure’s Joyce McKellar

The Star Awards ceremony hosted by Clyde 1 radio presenter, Gina McKie was held at Johnstone Town Hall and a host of accolades were handed out to the great and the good of staff working in local sports centres, swimming pools, libraries, museum and community halls.

Gina McKie

Among the awards presented was the Chief Executive’s Award for Outstanding Achievement, which was presented to Colin Pratt, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Cultural Venues Development Manager.

The Team of the Year Award went to Johnstone Town Hall Operations team of Jennifer Ann Northcote, Karen Pattison, Donald Hampson, Tracy Weir, Colin Smith, Geraldine Smith, Carol Harris and Katie Sweeney.

And tribute was paid to popular leisure manager, Gerry Noble who sadly died earlier this year with a new award – The Noble Award for Young Achievers – that was presented to marketing support assistant, Graham Barr.

Three members of staff were also commended for their acts of heroism in helping save people’s lives when they were off duty.

The first of those was Natalie Stewart, who helped rescue a woman who had fallen into the River Cart, in Paisley town centre and held on to her before the emergency services arrived.

The second was Steve Truesdale who gave First Aid to a young boy who had been knocked down while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

And the third was Carol Doyle who was closing Renfrew’s Victory Baths one night when she saw a man had collapsed in the street and she used a defibrillator that is kept at the pool on him before paramedics arrived.

Newly-elected leader of Renfrewshire Council, Iain Nicolson and news chairperson of the Renfrewshire Leisure Board of Trustees, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes were guests at the awards ceremony.

Renfrewshire Leisure chief executive, Joyce McKellar said: “Our most important asset is our staff, as they are vital to provide a first class sports, leisure and cultural service to the public.

“It’s only right that we pay tribute to those who give so much to the people of Renfrewshire and go above and beyond the call of duty.”

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Paisley 10k runners at the double

MORE than double the amount of people have already signed up for this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run compared to the same time last year.

Paisley 10k 2016

And the races that take place through the streets of Paisley on Sunday, August 20 looks like breaking the previous record for the number of runners taking part.

By the end of last month, 1911 people had signed up for the 10k and Fun Run, compared to 885 for May 31, 2016.
A total of 960 runners have already signed up for the 10k Race compared to 584 at this point last year and there has been an amazing 951 Fun Run entrants, compared to 301 by the end of May last year.

One local youth football club, Renfrew FC, has more than 200 members signed up for the Fun Run as they bid to raise cash for club funds through sponsorship for completing the course.

Club chairman Iain Wilson said: “We’ve got youngsters and their families from all our age groups taking part this year.

“We did the Fun Run two years ago and raised £2000 and with so many of our players doing it this year we hope to raise double that amount.
“The Fun run is a great way to raise money and the youngsters feel elated after taking part. Everyone loves the Fun Run as, along with the Paisley 10k, it’s a very well-organised event.”

Anyone can still register for the Paisley 10k Race or Fun Run, which is sponsored by sports and outdoor retailer, Decathlon. Last year almost 3000 people raced around the streets of Paisley in the 10k Race and Fun Run.

Joyce McKellar is chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, who along with Renfrewshire Council is organising the events. She said:
“This year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run is shaping up to be the best ever.
“There’s still time to sign up to take part and the number of people already committed to the event shows how popular it has become.”

You can register for the race by logging on to renfrewshireleisure.com or by telephoning 0300 300 1362 or picking up an entry form from any Renfrewshire Leisure venue.

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Still time to nominate unsung sporting hero

There’s still time to nominate someone who is an unsung hero of sport in Renfrewshire.


The Renfrewshire Sports Awards 2017 aim to showcase the dedication and hard work of local sports club coaches, volunteers, officials and youngsters. Nominations are open until June 30.

Award categories are Community Coach of the Year; Development Coach of the Year; Young Coach of the Year and Disability Coach of the Year.

There are also awards for Technical Official of the Year; Volunteer of the Year; Young Volunteer of the Year and Event Volunteer of the Year.

And for school sport there is an Honour Our Sport Award.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, who are organising the awards, said:
“Many people put a lot of hard work and dedication into giving others the chance to take part in and excel in the sport of their choice.
“The is the chance for these unsung heroes to get the recognition they deserve.”

Log on to www.renfrewshiresportsawards.com  to make a nomination.

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Having a grand old time at Bookbug sessions

A RECORD number of parents and children attended the Bookbug sessions at Johnstone Library last month.


A total of 1021 adults and kids under the age of five took part in storytelling, games and singing at the four Bookbug sessions every Wednesday and one on a Saturday. The previous best monthly figure was just over 800.

Joyce McKellar is chief executive of Renfewshire Leisure – the management trust that runs libraries, culture and sports services locally. She said:

“This is fantastic news for everybody involved at Johnstone Library. Staff there have put a lot of effort into making the Bookbug sessions really interesting and fun.
“They also ask the parents what they would like to see happening during the sessions and it’s as much their Bookbug session as the library’s.
“And credit should also go to the parents and carers in Johnstone for bringing their babies and toddlers along to the library and introduce their children to the wonderful world of books and storytelling.”