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Active Renfrewshire

Schools Badminton Festival

Active Renfrewshire

12,000 get Active in Renfrewshire 

Thousands of children in Renfrewshire are swapping the sofa for the sports hall according to a new report.

Last year over 12,000 pupils took part in lessons, events and taster sessions designed to make local children more active and help to build up the area’s sporting infrastructure. The figures are contained in the 2011/12 annual report for Active Schools – a partnership which promotes healthy lifestyles and involvement in sport.

The intensive sporting activity over 2011/12 generated a significant haul of precious metals for Renfrewshire. Pupils won 10 gold medals and three silvers at events outside the region. Six competitors from the Paisley Piranhas Swimming Club secured a further eight gold medals and two silver medals at the regional championships at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board, said, “Our Active Schools programme is a key part of our drive to deliver on the National Physical Activity Strategy, ‘Let’s Make Scotland More Active.’

“Active Schools is about building exercise into young people’s lives by developing Renfrewshire’s sporting infrastructure. A major part of the programme is to train the trainers and create qualified coaches who can take their expertise into the community. Over 400 volunteer coaches have been recruited, trained and deployed. These figures show that we are achieving our goals.

“But this isn’t just about hitting targets. Active Schools helps pupils develop a lifelong passion for sports that will protect their health and build their fitness. Not only that but we are now seeing graduates from the training programmes going on to represent Scotland in our national teams.”

The foundation for the programme’s success is this core of trainers which consists mainly of teachers and students from the Renfrewshire School of Sport Education and other award programmes. These help pupils acquire essential life skills such as team working, organisation and communication.

The Active Schools programme for primaries involves seven key sports: tennis, badminton, hockey, rugby, basketball, netball and athletics. It also includes dance events.

Between August and March 2011 some 382 clubs were open to pupils in primaries one to seven. These prepared the 8,822 participants for the Gateway to the Games event held during National School Sports Week 2012. The primary school programme also enabled pupils to take part in 44 sporting festivals.

Over 800 pupils got involved in primary school football and netball leagues and another 600 took part in two dance performance evenings held in March 2012 with partners, Infusion Dance.

St Mirren Football Club and the Scottish Football Association helped deliver a six week football programme for primary twos and threes in 12 primary schools. Similar programmes were also held for rugby, hockey and basket ball.

The secondary Active Schools programme focused on badminton, hockey, rugby, tennis and volleyball. Dance and fitness clubs were also provided in all schools to target girls and young women.

Fit for Girls, an innovative new scheme supported by the Youth Sport Trust and Sportscotland ran in seven secondary and two special schools. The aim of the project is to encourage less active girls to take part in all-girl activities which are designed to build their self-confidence and remind them that sport can be fun.

Girl’s rugby was a prominent feature of the Active Schools during 2011/12. One hundred girls took part in the first ever West of Scotland 7s tournament at Scotstoun Leisure Centre. A girl’s rugby academy has also been established for primary six to S6 and 30 pupils regularly attend training. Two of the pupils were selected for the West Under 18s in 2011 and are now playing in the Scotland Women’s Under 20 squad.

Pupils from Renfrewshire’s special schools took part in the Renfrewshire Special Games and hosted two regional events for children with a disability – the West of Scotland Junior Boccia Championship and the Renfrewshire ASN Indoor Athletics Championship.

Active Schools’ key sports are developed and delivered with relevant local clubs including Paisley and Bishopton Rugby Clubs, Kelburne Hockey Club, Strathgryffe Tennis Club, Basketball Paisley, Kilbarchan Athletics Club and Netball Renfrewshire. This partnership approach encourages pupils to become more involved in community club sports.

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council

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Pupils Put Their Best Foot Forward In Race To Find Best Runners

Renfrewshire Council’s Active Schools Team have found the best young cross country runners Renfrewshire has to offer – and are hoping they can clinch a national title later this spring.

The Renfrewshire Secondary and Primary Cross Country School Championships were held on 28 February and 1 March at King Geroge V Playing Fields, with a total of 830 pupils (538 primary and 292 secondary) taking part.

Houston Primary were overall winners on the day picking up most medals and will now don their running shoes to compete in the Scottish Schools Cross Country Championships against the 31 other local authority areas in Kirkalldy in April.

The fastest high school pupil to complete the course (which was 2 miles for high school pupils) was Euan Gilham from S3 at Gryffe High School who achieved  9 min 28 secs.

Damien Kaleta from P7 at Auchenlodement Primary was the fastest primary pupil to complete the course (which was 1.2 miles for primary pupils) in 5 mins 58 secs.

Councillor Susan McDonald, Renfrewshire Council’s Sports Champion, said: “Cross country running is an important part of athletics in Scotland and teaches our kids real endurance. It’s a hard sport to tackle, but very rewarding with both mental and physical benefits.

“I’m delighted that so many of our pupils took part in the Renfrewshire Championships this week – and my congratulations go to our overall winners, Houston Primary School who I’ll be rooting for in April when the national championships take place.

“Our Active Schools Team worked would like to thank their partners on the day – Renfrewshire School of Sport Education students and Kilbarchan Amateur Athletics Club.”

Overall, 11 high schools and 29 primary schools took part in the event.

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Paisley Piranhas Make A Splash At The Regional Championships


Six swimmers from the Paisley Piranhas Swimming Club made a huge splash on Saturday (25 February) at the Regional Championships for the West of Scotland Federation of Swimming Clubs for People with a Disability.

The event, run by Scottish Disability Sport, saw the team win eight gold medals and two silver medals.

Rory Wilson, 15, from Elderslie, and Toni Napolitano, 18, from Bridge of Weir, were representing Renfrewshire and the Paisley Piranhas for the first time. Both achieved gold medals in their 25 metre freestyle events.

Jennifer Costello, 14, from Renfrew, and Ryan McLelland, 14, from Paisley, who were also competing for the first time, achieved an amazing three gold medals and one silver medal.

Ryan achieved gold in his 25 metre back crawl event and silver for the 25 metre freestyle. Jennifer achieved two golds; one for her 25 metre back crawl and the other for 50 metre freestyle.

Matthew Knowles achieved gold in 50 metre freestyle and silver in his 25 metre back crawl.

Graeme McNeil, 19, from Houston competed in the 50 metre freestyle and 25 metre back crawl events and achieved gold in both.

Councillor Susan McDonald, Renfrewshire Council’s Sports Champion, said: “This is an outstanding achievement for these young athletes and for Renfrewshire. It’s great that the swimming club offers young people with disabilities these training and competition opportunities.”

The swimming club, run by Renfrewshire Council Active Schools, currently has 15 swimmers. Senior pupils from Johnstone High and Paisley Grammar who are working towards their swimming teacher training qualifications – help the club’s swimming coaches.

The club provides and caters for those with learning and physical disabilities from children into adulthood.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or the council’s Renfrewshire page on Facebook.