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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.”

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Renfrew set for fantastic day of family fun

Summer is finally arriving and Renfrew is set to celebrate with a jam-packed afternoon of free family fun as Renfrew Gala Day takes place on Sunday 4 June, 1pm-5pm.

2016 Renfrew Gala Day

This year held at Renfrew Leisure Centre, the gala day promises an exciting array of activities for all the family including a funfair, inflatables, face painting and more.

To kick-start the day, a parade with an underwater theme will set off from Robertson Park at 1pm and will feature a variety of local community groups and families- and you if you want to be a part of it!

Arriving at the Leisure centre, paraders will find a superb selection of activities with families able to visit the petting zoo or sample the multitude of community and craft stalls who will be exhibiting their fantastic creations.

Pulse FM will once again be providing live entertainment at the event which is also set to give people a chance to try out a new sport with Renfrew Football Club, Paisley Rugby Club and cheerleaders from Jazzle Dazzle on hand to teach you the basics.

And why not try out a caravan with a difference- the Caravan Obscura? Enter the caravan and experience an extraordinary light installation or try on the upside down boxes based on an experiment by scientist, Ivo Kohler, who wore upside down goggles for four weeks– it will literally turn your world upside down!

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Renfrew Gala Day is a terrific event for all the family and it’s always brilliant to see thousands turn out within the community.

“With all the activities on display and free entry, where better to spend a Sunday afternoon with your family and friends?

“Go along and sample the fantastic food, stalls and activities- you won’t be disappointed!“

The Gala Day precedes a viewing of Renfrew on Film 3- a show featuring local ‘lost’ archive footage to the soundtrack of the Renfrew Burgh Band.

Taking place on Thursday 15 June from 7-9pm at Renfrew Town Hall, this event is supported by Renfrew Leisure, Renfrew Museum Group and Renfrew Burgh Band and is not to be missed.

Tickets are free and available in person at Renfrew Town Hall or through Event Brite-  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/renfrew-on-film-3-tickets-34320270854?aff=eac2

If you would like to take part in the parade or for more information on the event please contact events@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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Key appointments made at first Renfrewshire Council meeting of new session

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Key positions have been confirmed at the first meeting of the new Renfrewshire Council which will operate as a Scottish National Party (SNP) minority administration.

Councillor Iain Nicolson has been appointed as the Council Leader and Councillor Jim Paterson as Depute Leader.

Renfrewshire’s Provost is Councillor Lorraine Cameron, supported by Depute Provost Councillor Cathy McEwan.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Changes were agreed to the decision making structure of the Council, with a move from six to four policy boards:

Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board: Councillor Marie McGurk (Convener), Councillor John McNaughtan (Depute Convener)

Education and Children’s Services Policy Board: Councillor Jim Paterson (Convener), Councillor Lorraine Cameron (Depute Convener)

Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board: Councillor John Shaw (Convener), Councillor John McNaughtan (Depute Convener)

Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board: Councillor Cathy McEwan (Convener), Councillor Natalie Don (Depute Convener)

Councillor Iain Nicolson was appointed as Convener and Councillor Jim Paterson as Depute Convener to the Leadership Board, which has been revised to incorporate the remit of the previous Economy and Jobs Policy Board.

A Cross Party Sounding Board will also be established comprising the Leader and Depute Leader of the Council and representatives from each of the political parties and groups.

Appointments were also confirmed for the positions of Convener and Depute Convener of the five Local Area Committees, which fund local initiatives and enable the local community to see how services are operating in their areas:

Houston, Crosslee, Linwood, Riverside & Erskine Local Area Committee: Councillor Natalie Don (Convener), Councillor Michelle Campbell (Depute Convener)

Johnstone and the Villages Local Area Committee: Councillor Andy Steel (Convener), Councillor Emma Rodden (Depute Convener)

Paisley North Local Area Committee: Councillor Jennifer Adam-McGregor (Convener), Councillor John McNaughtan (Depute Convener)

Paisley South Local Area Committee: Councillor Marie McGurk (Convener), Councillor Stephen Burns (Depute Convener)

Renfrew and Gallowhill Local Area Committee: Councillor John Shaw (Convener), Councillor Cathy McEwan (Depute Convener)

The meeting also confirmed Renfrewshire Council has agreed to seek to rejoin COSLA.

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Award – Nominated Play, Descent, at Paisley Arts Centre

AWARD NOMINATED PLAY Descent by Linda Duncan McLaughlin TOURING SCOTLAND in Spring 2017

A play about love. And dementia. But mostly about love.

PAISLEY ARTS CENTRE – THURSDAY 18 MAY
3pm relaxed performance*, 7.30pm evening performance

The CATS Award-nominated (Best New Play) Descent by Scottish playwright Linda Duncan McLaughlin, which originally played as part of A Play, A Pie and A Pint at Oran Mor and the Traverse in 2015 to huge critical acclaim, is touring across Scotland. The tour is supported by Creative Scotland Lottery funding.

The tour is visiting venues all over Scotland, from the far north of Thurso to the deep south of New Galloway, it opened at Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock on Saturday 29th April and will finish in Mull Theatre on Saturday 20th May.

Descent explores the story of 50-somethings Rob and Cathy who are looking forward to reclaiming their own lives now that their daughter Nicola is grown up and settled; but looming over all three of them is a threat that could rip their future apart.

It examines what happens as they try to hold onto each other – and themselves – in the face of early onset dementia. It doesn’t flinch from the heartbreak they face, but it also
celebrates the courage, the hope, the love and the humanity they bring to the fight.

Descent is directed by Allie Butler and is performed by Fiona MacNeil, Greg Powrie and Wendy Seager.

Helen Trew, Equalities and Diversity Officer at Creative Scotland said: “We’re pleased to support this multi-generational project which highlights the challenges faced by those suffering from early-onset dementia and those around them. We wish the company well for the tour which will enable audiences across Scotland the opportunity to engage with this poignant and enlightening work.”

Tickets are £10 (£6 conc) + bkg fee and are available from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

*A ‘relaxed’ performance is designed to provide a less formal, more supportive environment for people who might be anxious about attending the theatre.
The show is the same, but sound and lighting levels are adjusted, and people can move about the auditorium during the performance or go to a separate quiet space if they need to.