SOME of the country’s top basketball players will be hooping it up at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre this weekend.

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The popular sports venue is hosting the basketball Scotland Scottish Cup Finals on Saturday and Sunday, January 30 and 31 and players from Renfrewshire’s St Mirren West College Scotland team have won their way into three finals. The Under 16 Men will play West Lothian Wolves, at 10.30am, on the first day of the finals and at 5.15pm, the Senior Men’s team take on Edinburgh University.  On the Sunday, at 1.15pm, St Mirren West College Scotland’s Under 18 Men’s team takes on City of Edinburgh Kings in a bid to lift the national trophy.

Other games on Saturday are the Under 18 Women’s Final at 12.45pm when Lady Rocks take on West Lothian Wolves. And at 3pm Lothian Phoenix takes on the Glasgow-based St Mirren Warriors in the Wheelchair Basketball Final.

On Sunday the other finals being played are at 11am between the Under 16 Women’s teams, Boroughmuir Blaze and Stirling Knights and at 3.30pm, the Senior Women’s Final will be played between St Andrew’s University and Edinburgh University.

Joyce McKellar is chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure – the management trust that runs sports, leisure, arts and culture services locally. She said: “Basketball is a very popular and well-run sport locally and we expect a lot of spectators to come along to watch an exciting two days of competition with a Scottish Cup up for grabs in each match. “Bringing these Scottish Cup games to The Lagoon shows Renfrewshire can be at the heart of national sporting events and that we have the first-class facilities to attract tournaments like this.”

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Pirates recovered from an inauspicious start to eventually take the home team apart, recording their second double figure score in a week in the process, as they hammered the hitherto high flying Ayrshire side.

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The visitors were shocked as they went two down in the first eight minutes, with Henning scored the opener with seven minutes gone, and then Meechan was beaten again barely a minute later, to give the home side a two goal lead before the halfway point in the session. However, coach Ian Turley steadied the Pirates’ ship by immediately calling a time out, the ploy appearing to work as within seconds Orr had opened the account for the visitors and, in spite of chances at both ends for the remainder of the period, the home team went into the break with a 2-1 advantage.

The scoreboard remained unaltered well into the middle period, but with 28 minutes on the clock the scores were tied as Miller linked with Wilson to find the net, and within 50 seconds the visitors were in front as Blair beat Anderson for the go ahead, short handed, goal. Worse was to follow for the Wild as Campbell, last week’s double hat trick hero, consolidated their lead with 33 minutes on the clock, and with Wilson netting another shorthanded effort after 36 minutes, the Wild’s cup of woe was now overflowing, trailing 2-5 to a rampant Pirates’ side who had scored no fewer than four unanswered goals during the session.

Wild needed a quick goal to haul themselves back into the game, and two duly arrived in the 41st minute, but at the other end, as first Hassan, and then ex-Wild star Scott Cowan took the score to seven, ensuring the visitors were disappearing over the horizon. Pirates continued to rub salt in the wounds of their hosts, as first another former Wild player, Liam Riddell, scored after 47 minutes for 8-2, and then a third ex-Wild starlet in the diminutive form of Dillon Robertson celebrated his first goal for his new team with six minutes to go. Orr duly rounded off the evening with the double figure marker with just over a minute remaining, as Pirates celebrated a very sweet, not to say handsome, victory against one of their main rivals, and with no fewer than nine players getting on the scoresheet.

Pirates face another potentially difficult match this Sunday evening (face off 6.00pm) as they take on Edinburgh Capitals at Braehead Arena.

FORMER Old Firm stars Bobby Petta and Andy Goram can’t wait for Celtic and Rangers to clash in the top flight of Scottish football again.
But in the meantime, they’re content to go head-to-head in an Old Firm Legends charity game being held at Ralston Community Sports Centre, in Paisley, on Friday, January 15 at 7.45pm.

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The Celtic winger and Goram – known by Rangers fans as The Goalie – met up yesterday and talked tactics for their big encounter, which will also feature former Parkhead favourites, Frank McAvennie and Frank McGarvey along with John ‘Bomber’ Brown and John McDonald for the Ibrox Legends.

Money raised at the game – sponsored by Mario Kerr, director of MMK Water Supplies – is being split between local youth football clubs and the Hope for Autism charity.

Bobby Petta said: “From a financial point of view, Scottish football definitely needs the Old Firm games, so it’s important Rangers get back into the Scottish Premiership as soon as possible.
“And from a players’ and fans’ perspective, the Rangers and Celtic games have been sorely missed. Although some people may disagree with me, I think Scottish football needs the Old Firm.
“You can see how much these games meant to the fans, players and the clubs – the Old Firm games are more than just a local derby.”

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Andy Goram added: “Nobody can say that the Scottish Premiership isn’t missing Rangers being there.
“With the financial boost Rangers brings to teams in the league, I reckon Hearts and Hibs wouldn’t have been relegated because they would have had more resources to stay up.
“And I reckon if Rangers get promoted into the Premiership, with just three or four new players they will be a challenge to Celtic, Aberdeen and Hearts next season.”

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Joyce McKellar is chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, who are hosting the big match on their 4G pitch at Ralston Community Sports Centre, said:
“Bobby and Andy may have been saying how much people have missed the Rangers and Celtic games, but they can have their own Old Firm game on Friday night. And it’s all for a good cause.
“I hope there’s a good turnout of fans for what will undoubtedly be a fun night of football and banter from the football legends.”

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Renfrewshire Council’s proposals for a new project to increase cycling in Renfrewshire have been shortlisted by sustainable transport charity Sustrans for their “Community Links PLUS” competition.

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The proposal is for a new, segregated cycle route which will link Bishopton, Inchinnan, Erskine, Paisley and Glasgow Airport. The new route will aim to improve linkages between Renfrewshire’s towns and villages and create more opportunities for commuter and leisure cycling.

The project is one of only ten across Scotland which will go through to the next stage of the competition. It will receive £10,000 funding to enable a feasibility study to be carried out.

Community Links PLUS is open to proposals for walking and cycling projects and aims to identify and support exemplar schemes that have the potential to change the face of active travel in Scotland.

Proposals from across the country were narrowed down to a shortlist of projects which seek to rebalance traffic on Scotland’s streets through measures such as reallocation of road space and the creation of segregated and protected cycle lanes.

Councillor Eddie Devine, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “We are delighted that our proposal has been shortlisted for the Community Links PLUS competition.

“The shortlisted plan recognises that cycling can play an important role in connecting up communities across Renfrewshire and providing sustainable transport routes to economically important destinations such as Glasgow Airport.

“The proposal is part of a wider strategy, due to be published in 2016, which will aim to increase cycling across Renfrewshire, bringing benefits for leisure, health and offering an environmentally sustainable alternative to car travel.”

FITNESS fans are being urged to swim, run, row and cycle to raise money for charity.

Two local hospices – St Vincent’s and ACCORD – will benefit from a fundraising week of activities being organised by Renfrewshire Leisure in the sports centres, swimming pools and gyms the organisation operates.

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It’s hoped as much as £10,000 could be raised with people being sponsored to take part in a host of sporting activities taking place between November 30 and December 6.
Swimmers can choose a distance to swim over as many pool sessions as they want during the fundraising week and when they have reached their target, a member of staff will sign off that they have completed their distance.

In the gym you can run, or walk 10k, a half-marathon, or a full marathon over the week on the treadmill, or get on the rowing machine and row the 24.2-miles distance that is the length of Loch Lomond.

Those taking part can also cycle the equivalent 55.3 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh, or if you want to put the fun into the fundraising, you can make a donation to take part in an aerobics class dressed to a different theme over five days. The themes are Movies, Pyjamas, 80s Style, Glam and Neon.

And also by making a minimum £10 donation to the charity event, people can take part in a five-hour fitness challenge, which includes eight different classes between 9.15am and 2.45pm on

Wednesday, December 2 at The Lagoon, in Paisley and Friday, December 4, at the ON-X, in Linwood.

Sports clubs who use the Renfrewshire Leisure facilities are also being encouraged to organise a special fundraising game or training session.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said:

“This is all about fundraising, fitness and fun and I hope as many people as possible take part. You can do the fundraising sessions on your own, or make up a team with family and friends and also turn it into a social event.

“The money raised will be going to two very worthy causes.”

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A birthday party with a difference that includes the chance to try out a new beauty treatment made from seaweed is being held on Thursday. (November 19)

The luxury EVE Spa in Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre is celebrating its third birthday and staff there are inviting everyone to come along to their all-day birthday bash from 10am to 9pm.

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And there are great money-saving offers to go along with the free drinks, nibbles and birthday cake on offer to clients who come along.

People reserving a place at the birthday party for just £30 will be given a £20 gift card to spend on beauty products plus their choice of some VIP beauty treatments.

These treatments include a 25-minute express facial or salt and oil scrub from the ishga skincare range, which is made using hand-harvested seaweed from the Scottish Hebrides.

Hebridean seaweed is renowned for containing high levels of natural anti-oxidants that have anti-ageing properties which helps protect the skin.

Other special birthday bash treatments available include a full Mii Make Up application; CACI Non-Surgical facial; a 25-minute customized facial; entry to the Thermal Experience and Rasul Mud Chamber; a manicure for two, or a full-body spray tan for two.

Lynne Dill, EVE Spa manager said: “We can’t believe it’s been three years since we first opened and we do love a party, especially with our fabulous clients.

“We’ve got some great third birthday treatment offers and we’re inviting everyone to come along.”

To reserve a place at the EVE Spa third birthday party, phone 0300 300 0266 or visit the spa, in the Lagoon Leisure Centre up to 9.30pm on Wednesday, November 18.

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Paisley has put people at the heart of its bid for UK City of Culture 2021 as plans were unveiled today to place its museum on an international stage and support the local arts and cultural community through an innovative creative fund.

The Scottish textile town which changed the world, today unveiled plans for a £56.7m transformation of its flagship museum and also to create a £500,000 cultural pot for the local community.

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Paisley’s internationally-significant museum collections, and its one-time place at the heart of the global thread industry, have inspired the plans to turn the town’s museum into a national showcase of textile and design by 2021.

The museum is the flagship project of Renfrewshire’s long-term regeneration plans for the town. They include:

  • £56.7m plans to transform the museum.
  • a £3.7m world class museum store to support an internationally-significant museum and open up access to all of the museum collections for education and research in the heart of the town centre – a first for the UK.
  • £2.7m earmarked to support investment in developing Paisley’s lending library service.
  • a new £500,000 culture, heritage and event fund to tap into the town’s creative potential.

Visitor numbers to the museum could triple to hit 150,000 with almost 250 jobs created and up to £88m generated for the local economy as a result of the cultural and economic regeneration brought about by the museum transformation alone. They will support Renfrewshire Council’s wider economic, social and cultural regeneration strategy.

The plans were unveiled to coincide with a two-day event to officially launch Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

On Friday 13 November, bid ambassadors joined forces at Paisley’s 850-year old Abbey to issue a rallying call to Renfrewshire and beyond to support the bid.

The town will then host a massive public party on Saturday 14 November with an appeal to revellers to wear the world-famous Paisley Pattern for the Christmas lights switch-on event, topped off by a spectacular seven-minute Paisley-themed light show projected against the Abbey.

A social media campaign to back the bid using #Paisley2021 has started and a new website at www.paisley2021.co.uk goes live today to rally public support.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council and Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board said: “We’re putting people right at the heart of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture and our new £500,000 creative fund will help them develop and participate in high-quality cultural events supporting our ambitions.

“From the local arts and cultural community, to professional artists and individuals, the fund will help every part of Renfrewshire realise its creative potential between now and 2021.

“Paisley was once at the heart of the global textile industry and by connecting that heritage to the future through a new transformed museum, we aim to bring the world to Paisley.

“The museum will become the cultural, social and economic heart of the town. It will be transformed for tourists and local families alike, and be the base for extensive community outreach supporting weaving, natural history, science and nature.

“By forging links with national museums and international institutions, local art groups and academic partners, we want to put Paisley at the heart of the world’s cultural map.”

The proposals are due to be considered by the council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board next week.

He added: “The museum store will be a new anchor destination at the opposite end of the High Street from the museum to boost visitor footfall between the two.

“These plans have also brought the chance to re-imagine the library currently based in the museum complex. Library services are changing. Paisley Central Library serves more offline households than any other in the country from its public computers – so we’ll ask local people what they want from a modern facility in the heart of the town.

“Through a planned financial programme Renfrewshire Council has been able to proactively identify vital funds to deliver the regeneration of Paisley and has committed £22m to develop and promote Paisley as a destination town. The plans we announce today show where we intend to invest much of that resource.

“This is a major, long-term programme that will need wider support generated by a major fundraising effort.”

Bid ambassadors who joined Councillor Macmillan at Paisley Abbey on Friday 13 November have outlined why they believe Paisley should be UK City of Culture 2021.

David Wallace is Executive Director of PACE Youth Theatre – the largest of its kind in the UK with former pupils including Paolo Nutini and James McAvoy. He said: “Arts and culture play a huge role in achieving our social and economic goals through local regeneration, attracting tourists, developing talent, improving health and wellbeing and, just as importantly, changing the perception of a place and its community. Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is our vehicle for change and all Buddies are on board.”

Bob Davidson, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help Paisley become the great place it deserves to be – great for all businesses, their employees and their customers. Having been in Paisley for over 50 years, the Chamber fully supports the Paisley 2021 bid and encourages businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors to do the same.”

Paisley Pirates are celebrating not one, but two of their biggest successes in recent years-and without a puck in sight.

At the Renfrewshire Community Sports Awards event held last week, two well known faces within the club were honoured, along with local representatives from other sports and activities, at the inaugural staging of the event in the newly furbished Johnstone Town Hall, with many well known figures from the world of sport and broadcasting in attendance.

Pirates’ coach Ian Turley made the final three in the Community Coach of the Year category, and while missing out on the main award, was nevertheless delighted to be included in the final consideration. “Of course, it’s always nice to win any award, but it’s a big honour just to be recognised in this type of event,” he said. “None of us do what we do for the purpose of winning awards, we do it because we want to, and it’s quite humbling when people highlight what you do as worthy of consideration for an award.”

Mum Jackie Turley, secretary of the Paisley Pirates, went one better, however, in picking up the Volunteer of the Year Award, taking her completely by surprise and, for once, lost for words. “I really didn’t expect anything like this, and, like Ian says, you don’t do things to try and win awards, you participate because you want to and try to make a difference. We always preach that we’re a community club, run by the community, for the community, and in the community, and what I think I’m most chuffed about is that these awards certainly suggest to us that the Paisley Pirates are very much accepted as being in with the fabric of the local community. The club is much more than just an ice hockey team, we have an army of volunteers, to whom I dedicated my award, and a lot of people are involved in making sure that the Pirates remain one of the top amateur ice hockey teams in Scotland, and, at least as important, a well recognised local community group in the area which it serves, we hope, with distinction and honour.”

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‘Jackie Turley’ holding Volunteer of the Year Award 2015

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Featuring all your favourite hits from world-famous musicals and stage shows, Mad 4 Musicals will bring all the glitz and glamour of Broadway and the West End stage to Paisley Town Hall on 12 November.

This fantastic live show will include all your musical favourites; Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, Miss Saigon and Les Misérables, plus a few hits from more contemporary shows like Wicked, The Bodyguard and Ghost.

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For families, the Disney medley will have everyone singing along. Be transported to the heady Arabian Nights of Aladdin or the icy kingdom of Arendelle as the Mad 4 Musicals vocalists sing Let it Go.

Mad 4 Musicals is performed entirely live by four of Scotland’s leading theatre vocalists accompanied by a sensational four piece show band, who together provide all the emotion, drama, energy and passion of the musical theatre stage.
 
Mad 4 Musicals will visit Paisley Town Hall on 12 November, 7.30pm. Tickets cost £14 (£12 concession) + booking fee*. To book call the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

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A NEW website is offering charities, community groups and event organisers the chance to promote themselves.

Bosses at Renfrewshire Leisure are not only using their website to tell people what’s happening at sports centres, swimming pools, museums and libraries, they’re opening up their What’s On Guide section to the public.

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And that means anyone organising a community fun day, charity event, exhibition, theatre, or comedy show, exhibition, sports club, or even a pub gig can promote their event for free.

All they have to do is log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com and register to submit details of an event for the What’s On section of the website.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure explains: “We’ve lots of activities going on in our sports and leisure centres, but we also want to help people organising the many other events locally the opportunity to promote themselves.

“We want people to use our website just as much as they would use any of our swimming pools, gyms, or sports halls and opening up the website to others is just one other way of us providing a service to the public.”