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Good sports raise hospice charity cash

SPORTS centre staff and customers have raised more than £6000 for two hospices in Renfrewshire.

Ken Mathie, from ACCORD, left and Carol-Anne Lamont from St Vincent’s Hospice, right, with fitness instructor, Lesley Cochrane and members of her Body Attack class who helped raise the charity cash.


The annual Renfrewshire Leisure Charity Fundraising Week saw £6320 split between St Vincent’s and ACCORD Hospices.

The money was raised through various sponsored events at pools and sports centres throughout Renfrewshire including a Swimathon, raffle, tombola, bakery sale and fundraising where fitness fans sponsored their instructor, Lesley Cochrane not to speak for an entire class session.

Representatives of the two local hospices visited the ON-X, in Linwood to be presented with their cheques.
Carol-Anne Lamont, from St Vincent’s said: “On behalf of all at St. Vincent’s Hospice, I would like to thank members and staff for their efforts in raising this superb amount of money towards hospice care in Renfrewshire.

“It costs almost £6,000 per day to run our hospice and community services –more than half of which comes from donations and fundraising.  Our services are available to all, free of charge, thanks to the generosity of our local communities.”

Ken Mathie, from ACCORD added: “The staff and members of Renfrewshire Leisure have supported ACCORD for many years through their sponsored events programme and it’s absolutely wonderful that they continue to think of us and to raise so much money amount through a varied programme of activities.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part in the recent week of activities for all of their support which goes to ensure that our patients receive the care they deserve.”

Charlie McDougall, senior facilities manager at the ON-X, who organised the charity fundraising, said:
“I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who embraced the spirit of our fundraising and who put so much effort into raising the money.”

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Real-life Princess Leia launches Star Wars toys exhibition

A REAL-LIFE Princess Leia yesterday launched a unique exhibition of Star Wars toys and memorabilia that has come to Scotland for the first time.

Leia Brown, aged 10, from Paisley, who was named after Princess Leia, launches a Star Wars toys exhibition at Paisley Museum

Leia Brown isn’t just named after the space heroine from a galaxy far away, she was also born on May 4, which is known by fans as Star Wars Day – as in ‘may the fourth be with you’!


And the force was definitely with ten-year-old Leia when she got a sneak preview of the May The Toys Be With You exhibition, at Paisley Museum.

Leia Brown, aged 10, from Paisley and Star Wars toys collector, Matt Fox at the launch of the May The Toys Be With You exhibition at Paisley Museum

Shortly after Leia was born, her Star Wars fan dad, Peter persuaded mum, Paula to name her after Princess Leia. And after seeing the movies over the years she was growing up, Leia loves Star Wars as well.

The May The Toys Be With You exhibition is free and open from today, Saturday, March 18 until May 29.
The exhibition features one of the UK’s finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys, original cinema posters and memorabilia. It also includes fun family activities and additional Star-Wars related workshops during the Easter holidays.


Leia said: “I love everything about Star Wars and I’m always dressing up as Princess Leia. I’m glad mum and dad gave me that name.

“I’m really excited about May The Toys Be With You and being chosen to launch the exhibition. It’ll be great fun as it’s got lots of amazing toys and things about Star Wars to see.”

The collection of more than 400 exhibits and worth £100,000 is owned by 44-year-old Star Wars enthusiast Matt Fox, from Canterbury, in Kent, who was given his first Star Wars Darth Vader figure by his parents on his fifth birthday.

He said: “I can still remember sitting in the back of the car so excited and ripping open the packaging to get my hands on the Darth Vader figure.

“My love affair with Star Wars began when I saw the first movie in 1977 and from that day all I would ask my parents at birthdays and Christmas as a present would be Star Wars figures.

“This was in the days before we had videos to watch the movies again and again and the only way kids could recreate the adventures they saw in Star Wars movies was to play with the figures.

“My galaxy was under the dining room table!”

As a teenager Matt stopped asking for Star Wars toys, but years later, as a 28-year-old, he was in the loft of his parents’ home and came across a big box. When he opened the box he was amazed to see all his Star Wars toys had been kept safely by his parents.

“I looked into the box and it was like a golden glow of nostalgia beaming up at me,” he revealed. “It was quite an emotional moment and that’s when I started to seriously collect Star Wars memorabilia again.

“They say collecting is an illness and sharing is the cure and that’s what I want to do with this exhibition – let as many people, young and old, experience the same excitement as I have about Star Wars.”

One of the most rare exhibits on show at Paisley Museum is an original painting by artist Tom Beauvais, from 1977, as the poster for the very first Star Wars film.

However, his painting never appeared as the movie poster, as an illustration by his colleague, Tom Chantrell was used instead.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “This exhibition is a must-see for all Star Wars fans.
“It’s a celebration of the now highly-collectable vintage toy line and also of the iconic design work and art of the Star Wars movies.”

Paisley City of Culture 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The Star Wars films remain as iconic and popular as ever and I am sure there will be huge interest in this exhibition at Paisley Museum over the next few months,

“That will bring visitors to the town and help raise awareness of Paisley’s wider cultural offer.
“Our outline programme for Paisley 2021 will be open and accessible, and will bring culture for all – and this exhibition is a great example of what that could mean. May the Force be with Paisley’s bid!”

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Paisley celebrates International Women’s Day

A SERIES of events has been organised by Renfrewshire Leisure to celebrate International Women’s Day.


Tonight, Tuesday, March 7, at 7.30pm Paisley Arts Centre hosts a groundbreaking production of If I Had A Girl, which gives an insight into honour-based violence in ethnic minority communities in Scotland. A post-show discussion about the issues raised in the play will take place after the performance.

 

On International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8 there will be a free lecture called, Mighty Women of Science, in Paisley Museum, at 1.30pm. This will take an enlightening look at some well-known and not so well-known women who have changed and continue to change the science world.

And the same evening, at 6.45pm, in Paisley Arts Centre, three musicians – Linzi Clark, Heir of the Cursed and Marie Collins will perform.

On Tuesday, March 14, at 7.30pm Paisley Arts Centre stages the play Expensive Sh**. This tells the story of a Nigerian nightclub toilet attendant, working in a fictional club based on the Shimmy Club in Glasgow, who had dreams of becoming a dancer with the revolutionary band of the late Nigerian musician, Fela Kuti.

Tickets for ‘If I Had A Girl’ and ‘Expensive Sh**’ are available at Paisley Arts Centre box office on 0300 300 1210 or online www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts.

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Olympic marathon brothers start race to sign up for Paisley 10k

OLYMPIC marathon runners Callum and Derek Hawkins have started the race to sign up for this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

From left, Derek and Callum Hawkins

The popular event – sponsored by sports and outdoors retailer, Decathlon – takes place on Sunday, August 20.
And now the starting gun has been fired for people to register for the 10k race and shorter 3k Fun Run, organised by Renfrewshire Leisure in conjunction with Renfrewshire Council.

Last year, almost 2000 people raced around the streets of Paisley in the 10k and were quickly followed by hundreds of fun runners – many taking part to raise tens of thousands of pounds for their favourite charities and good causes.
Macmillan Cancer Support is the Paisley 10k Race official charity partner for the third year.

Brothers Callum and Derek, from Elderslie, Renfrewshire, represented Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Olympics and both have previously won the Paisley 10k race.

From left, Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Callum Hawkins; Hector Fernandez, from Race sponsors Decathlon; Derek Hawkins and Councillor Jim Harte, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure board of trustees.

Yesterday Callum and Derek were in Paisley to help launch this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run.
This year’s 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.

Callum, who runs for Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club and only last weekend won the National Cross Country Championships, said: “The Paisley 10k is a great race and I’d encourage everyone to sign up and take part.
“Derek and I have competed several times and we’ve really enjoyed it.”

Brother Derek, also, a Kilbarchan AAC runner, added: “If you’re an aspiring athlete the Paisley 10k will be a good test for you.
“Taking part will definitely help your development as a runner as there’s always a quality field of athletes in the race.”

Renfrewshire Leisure chief executive, Joyce McKellar said: “This is a fantastic event whether you are a serious athlete or someone who likes to keep fit and healthy by running.
“And then there’s the Fun Run, which is great for mums and dads and other family members to have a run with their kids on the shorter easier course around Paisley town centre.
“The whole day combines to create an event that everyone can enjoy and there’s a real carnival atmosphere in the town on race day with lots of street stalls and entertainment.”

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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BIKE SWAP Saturday 4th Feb 12 – 2pm

Join the 1st Kilbarchan Boys’ Brigade and LEAP at our Bike Swap and Bike Maintenance Workshops, at the Kilbarchan Parish Church Hall.

Old, outgrown bike lying unloved in the garage?

Looking for a replacement bike?

Donate your old bike to be used by someone else, or bring it along to SWAP for another.

No bike to swap?  Come along at 1.30pm to see if we have what suits you.

While you are there, learn how to do the basic M Check on your bike to ensure it is in top condition to ride.  Soul Riders (www.soulriders.org.uk) will be coming along to run the free workshops and give you tips on how you can look after your bike.

For more information, email susie@myleapproject.org or phone 01505 842530

www.myleapproject.org  SCIO Charity No SC044019

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Pupils show their artistic side for major exhibition

A RECORD number of works of art by school pupils has been put on show at the annual Inspired exhibition, at Paisley Museum.

From left artistic pupils, Beth Daly, Ola Muir and Sophie Thompson

The exhibition features more than 120 drawings and paintings from children at local nursery schools to young adults in their final year at secondary school.

It runs from until Tuesday, April 18


Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The aim of the exhibition is to showcase the art and design skills of pupils in Renfrewshire’s nursery, primary and secondary schools.
“And this year we have a record number of exhibits, which further enhances Paisley’s reputation as a place of culture.
“The exhibition displays how the artistic skills progress from the early works of three and four year olds through to the sophisticated and talented pieces which form a Fifth or Sixth Year pupil’s folio for national qualifications.
“The exhibition is called Inspired as that’s exactly what it shows – a reflection of the personal perspective of the young artist and the things which inspire them.”

Joyce added: “The pieces on display are both humorous and sophisticated. Some of the drawings of the very young children will certainly raise a smile and the work of the older pupils are very impressive and are of a professional standard.”

Organisers of Inspired are also working in partnership with The National Gallery of Scotland, as after the exhibition closes, much of the work featured will be sent for consideration in their National Tesco Bank Art Competition.
And 13 pieces of work will be chosen to feature in the Renfrewshire Provost’s 2018 Calendar

A new feature of the exhibition this year is a cardboard model of an imaginary Paisley City created by students, young people and their families as part of the Made in Paisley programme under the direction of West College Scotland and Ice Cream Architecture.

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Community centre upgrades continue

THE programme of works to upgrade six community centres, in Renfrewshire is now well underway.

Johnstone Castle Community Centre is now re-open after repairs and improvements were carried out and work has started at Ralston Community Centre.

The next facility to temporarily close for an upgrade is Glenburn Community Centre and work there is expected to start mid-February.

The improvements project is part of a £3 million investment upgrading six community centres and is managed by a joint project team made up of officers from Renfrewshire Council, Community Resources and Renfrewshire Leisure. Renfrewshire Council’s own building services workforce is carrying out the work.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “The work being carried out on community centres throughout Renfrewshire will create upgraded and attractive facilities for local people to use.”

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Free gym for four months offer fits the bill

FREE gym membership for four months is worth its weight in gold for people wanting to get fit.

Renfrewshire Leisure sports services staff, Yvonne McLetchie and Scott Graham at the launch of the free gym for four months offer

The money-saving offer from Renfrewshire Leisure means you get 14 months membership for the price of a ten-month up front fee on the various membership categories.

As well as being able to use six state-of-the-art fitness suites, membership of Renfrewshire Leisure also gets you access to more than 300 fitness classes and free use of five swimming pools throughout the area.

But if people only want to use a gym, another offer could well fit the bill with a six-month gym-only membership costing only £99. And for those who just want to attend fitness classes, there is also an offer of ten classes for £40.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar explains: “We’ve some of the best fitness suites in the country with knowledgeable and experienced staff on hand to advise our members.

“At this time of year many people’s thoughts turn to getting fit and healthy and to encourage them to do just that, we’ve a fantastic offer of four months free membership.

“The extra benefits of being a Renfrewshire Leisure member far outnumber other gyms, with access to classes and swimming pools. But for people who just want to use our fitness suites, we’ve created a gym only six-month membership for only £99.

“Signing up with Renfrewshire Leisure now means we can help you lose some weight, but gain pounds in your pocket!”

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It’s all going on in Renfrewshire

THE new edition of a What’s On Guide reveals there’s plenty going on in a line-up of cultural events being staged at venues throughout Renfrewshire.


Renfrewshire Leisure is staging a varied programme of shows, exhibitions and workshops from now until the end of April.  An events brochure listing all that is going on, called The Guide has just been launched.

The colourful free brochure – jam-packed with information about more than 40 different shows and events – can be picked up at Paisley Town Hall, Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre, Renfrew Town Hall and Johnstone Town Hall. The Guide can also be downloaded by logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com .

The events being staged feature drama, music, dance, comedy, exhibitions, talks and workshops.
They include everything from a performance by award-winning traditional folk band, Breabach, stand-up comedian, Chris Ramsey to well-known film and TV actor, David Hayman appearing in a play called The Cause of Thunder to an exhibition of Star Wars memorabilia called May The Toys Be With You.

There are also events that are part of various festivals – International Women’s Day, Puppet Animation Festival and for the first time, LGBT History Month.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “There is culture everywhere you look in and around Paisley, these days.
“There’s something for everyone to enjoy and The Guide is the best way to find out what’s going on.”

Tickets for all the events are now on sale and can be bought online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts  or by phoning 0300 300 1210 or in person at Paisley Arts Centre, in New Street, Paisley.

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Cut-price gym membership fits the bill for Young Scot Card holders

YOUNG people can get cut-price gym membership with Renfrewshire Leisure if they sign up for a Young Scot Card.

Young Scot Card holders, from Paisley, 17-year-olds Andrew Deighan and Kayleigh Sellar in the Lagoon gym

Anyone between the ages of 12 and 26, who registers for a free Young Scot card, can now also get a Renfrewshire Leisure gym membership for only £14.95 per month.

Or if anyone makes one-off annual payment, they’ll get a whole year for only £149.50, which is the equivalent of getting two months membership free.

A Renfrewshire Leisure gym membership gives access to six fitness suites in The Lagoon, Paisley; Renfrew Leisure Centre; Johnstone Community Sports Hub; the ON-X, Linwood; Erskine Community Sports Centre and Ralston Community Sports Centre.

Members can also get free use of the area’s five swimming pools and access to more than 300 fitness classes.
Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “It’s important young people get into the habit of exercising and keeping fit and healthy. But not just that, it’s also great fun.

“The Young Scot card gives young people lots of benefits and now there’s even more to be gained with this big-value deal offering cut-price membership of our fitness suites.

“I’d encourage everyone who is eligible to sign up for a free Young Scot Card – it’s almost as if Christmas has come early for them!”

The Young Scot Card entitles holders to various discounts and special offers and for more information on this fantastic offer, log on to www.young.scot call 0300 300 0250 or visit one of the Renfrewshire Leisure facilities.