The people who deliver the wide variety of sports activities locally have been honoured at a special ceremony.

The annual Renfrewshire Sports Awards were presented to the coaches, volunteers and officials who help run clubs and sports for the benefit of others.

The awards are organised by Renfrewshire Leisure, in partnership with Sport Scotland and West College Scotland and were presented at a dinner held in Johnstone Town Hall.

Former professional footballer and now media pundit, Des McKeown, hosted the evening. Special guest at the event was award-winning runner Jemma Reekie, from Kilbarchan Amateur Athletics Club, who was interviewed on stage.

The Community Coach Award was won by William Broadley, who started the Houston Soccer Academy, in 1996; Disability Sports Coach of the Year was Tammy Johnston, one of the lead coaches at Fit 4 Sport and Ben Harwood, football coach at Park Mains High School, won the Young Coach of the Year.

Volunteer of the Year Award went to George Morrison, who is currently chairperson of Bishopton FC; Young Volunteer of the Year was won by Craig Kennedy, who is a Young Ambassador, at Park Mains High School and David Coulter, peer volunteer at the RAMH Saturday football group, lifted the Community Health Volunteer Award.

The Technical Official of the Year Award went to Matthew Retson, who is one of the lead officials for the Renfrewshire School’s Hockey League and Mark Fulton, current President of Kelburne Hockey Club, won the Dedication to Sport Award.

School Recognition Awards for giving young people a chance to take part in sport were presented to Renfrew High and Castlehead High Schools.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “Our awards showcase the talent, dedication and commitment of individuals in our community.

“The variety of award categories is excellent and I’m thrilled to honour our winners and nominees who dedicate their time to make sport happen across Renfrewshire.”

Joyce McKellar, in her final annual sports awards event before she retires added: “Along with our partners we’re proud to celebrate the outstanding contribution to sport from individuals across Renfrewshire.

glasgow airport

More than 160,000 passengers expected to jet off on holiday this weekend in one of the airport’s busiest periods of the year


Glasgow Airport is gearing up for one of its busiest periods of the year today (Thursday, October 11) as tens of thousands of holidaymakers prepare to jet off for the October holiday week.

glasgow airport

Pic Peter Devlin

Over 160,000 people are expected to pass through the airport between today and Monday 15 October with many flying out to popular sunspots in the Canary Islands, southern Spain, Cyprus and Florida and city break destinations such as Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam and Dubai.

In anticipation of the busy period ahead, the airport and its airline partners will have extra staff on hand to help guide passengers, particularly those with young children, through check-in and security.

Mark Johnston, Glasgow Airport’s Managing Director, said: “The October school break is easily one of our busiest weeks of the year as thousands of families head off for some much-need sun.

“This weekend in particular will be very busy and we are expecting to welcome an average of more than 30,000 people through our doors each day between today and Monday.

“To ensure our customers enjoy a smooth journey through the airport we will draft in more staff across the terminal over the weekend, while young children can enjoy a host of arts and craft activities hosted by the airport’s ambassadors in our designated Kids’ Zone on Friday and Saturday.

“As always during peak periods at the airport, we advise customers to arrive in plenty of time to get through check-in and security. This year we’ve also introduced a number of pre-security preparation areas to help passengers get ready in advance of entering our central security hall.”

On Tuesday, October 30, airline partner easyJet will launch its new Venice route. The twice-weekly service is expected to be very popular with Glasgow Airport passengers.

Derek Mackay MSP is urging deaf people in Renfrewshire who have queries about benefits to use a charity’s social security advocacy service.

The service, which is run by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, can provide people who are Deaf or have hearing loss – including British Sign Language (BSL) users – with information, advice and, where possible, formal representation to challenge benefits decisions.

Derek Mackay MSP said: “It is important that everyone entitled to social security support can access information or advice in ways which they can understand.

“I’m pleased to see Action on Hearing Loss Scotland providing this service and encourage deaf or hard of hearing people in Renfrewshire to use the charity’s support if you have queries, claims or want to make an appeal about social security benefits.”

Teri Devine, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “We appreciate Derek Mackay MSP’s support for our social security advocacy service which can provide details and advice about a range of benefits.

“If you are Deaf or have hearing loss and need some help to understand what processes to follow to apply for support you may be entitled to, or are confused about letters you have received regarding your benefits, we would be delighted to help you make sense of it all.”

For information about Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s social security advice service, call telephone: 0141 341 5346, text: 07388 227407 or email:  British Sign Language users can contact via the ContactSCOTLAND-BSL service.

Young people in Renfrewshire are being encouraged to ‘Turn Up and Play’ as the ever-popular Street Stuff programme continues during the October school holidays.

Football, gaming and more will be available for those aged 8 to16 at five venues across Renfrewshire throughout the week.

A free, hot and healthy meal will be provided at every session to ensure participants are fuelled up to take part.

All activities are free and young people are invited along to:

  • Gleniffer High School Astro: Monday 15 October and Friday 19 October (1:30pm-4:30pm)
  • Linwood High School, Games Hall: Monday 15 October and Friday 19 October (1:30pm-4:30pm)
  • St James PS Renfrew, Astro:  Monday 15 October and Friday 19 October (1:30pm-4:30pm)
  • McMaster Centre, Johnstone MUGA:  Monday 15 October and Friday 19 October (1:30pm-4:30pm)
  • St Mirren FC Indoor Dome: Tuesday 16, Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 October (1:00pm-5:00pm)

Consent forms must be completed by all participants and will be available on the first day of arrival or can be filled out online in advance.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “The October holidays are the perfect opportunity for young people to try a new sport, make new friends and keep active at our Street Stuff clubs.

“Our brilliant team of coaches and volunteers will help keep them busy every day, whether they’re a footballer or gamer, I’m sure they’ll find something they’ll enjoy.

“Don’t forget that a free hot and healthy meal is provided at each session as we know the activities can make them work up an appetite!

“So make the most of the break from school and send them along to any of the activities, everyone’s welcome.”

Street Stuff is a diversionary project run in partnership between Renfrewshire Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Engage Renfrewshire and St Mirren Football Club.

The programme began in 2009 in Renfrewshire contributing to a reduction in youth disorder and anti-social behaviour by 75 per cent over the first five years with a sustained reduction of 65 per cent.

For more information, visit or email

Paisley’s Spree festival is hitting the road – with the Spree for All fringe festival taking some of the area’s finest musical talent to all corners of Renfrewshire.

The events – taking place from 12 to 21 October – includes music, comedy, theatre and much more, totalling 87 shows over 10 days in 17 venues across five towns and villages.

Much of the main Spree action will take place in the iconic Spiegeltent in Paisley’s County Square, with big names such as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi appearing in Paisley Town Hall.

But the Spree for All will also see the action spread into pubs and clubs throughout the area.

A series of free shows will bring some of the best musical acts in the area to Johnstone’s Hazel Bar (Fri 12 Oct), Linwood Bowling Club (Sat 13 Oct), Lochwinnoch’s Lochbarr Leisure Centre (Sat 13 Oct) and Renfrew’s Victoria Bar (Sat 20 Oct)

And there’s also a platform for unsigned talent through the Danny Kyle Stage – run in honour of the Paisley folk music legend by Celtic Music FM – which will be in Paisley’s Old Swan Inn each day from Mon 15 to Sat 20 Oct.

Other Spree for All highlights include:

– a series of three late-night DJ nights at Paisley’s Burger&Keg bar (Fri 19 to Sun 21 Oct), including the after-party of the ever-popular ModStuff show on the Saturday;

– Lochwinnoch’s McKillop Hall will host the Alistair McCulloch Trio and Howlin’ Radio (Fri 19 Oct), supported by Lochwinnoch Arts Festival and the local organising committee for Paisley’s Royal National Mod in 2022;

– local promoters Scottish Fiction will host a night in Paisley’s Bungalow Bar (Sat 13 Oct) featuring alternative rock acts Foreignfox, Mt Doubt, Acrylic and Home$lice;

– RockUs Community Choir (motto: ‘sing yourself happy’) performing a free afternoon show in the Spiegeltent (Mon 15 Oct);

– local singer Johnny Barr will bring his popular open-mic nights to Paisley pubs Burger&Keg (Weds 17 Oct) and Manhattan’s (Thurs 18 Oct);

The Wee Spree programme of shows for kids also includes Cosmpot – a kids theatre show which will tour Paisley town centre, Foxbar, Johnstone, Renfrew and Linwood over the October school week, while National Theatre of Scotland’s unique Do’s and Don’ts show will take the audience of a tour of Renfrewshire in a special truck.

The Spree is run by Renfrewshire Council, whose head of marketing, communications and events Louisa Mahon said: “The Spree is now a fixture in an annual calendar which has made Paisley one of Scotland’s go-to destinations for major events in recent years.

“And we are delighted to be spreading the benefits around Renfrewshire, with a series of shows taking place in different towns and villages.

“The council’s events programme has already put £1.25m into the area’s economy this year – and with The Spree and the big winter events of Halloween, Fireworks and the Christmas Lights Switch-ons coming up in the next few weeks, that will rise further.”

The Spree festival is now in its seventh year. Acts appearing this year include Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, London African Gospel Choir, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, The Orb, Gang of Four, Wolfgang Flür (ex Kraftwerk), Big Minds, The Wandering Hearts, Tracyanne & Danny, The Pastels, Vieux Farka Touré, The Leisure Society, Duke Special, Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert, Gillebrìde MacMillan, Des Clarke, Janey Goldey and Stuart Mitchell.

Details of full programmes and ticket information for The Spree, The Wee Spree and the Spree for All are available at or from the festival box office at 9b Gilmour Street, Paisley PA1 1DG.

Paisley Pirates have their first home game at Braehead Arena on Sunday 14 October when they take on North Ayrshire Wild in a top of the table Stuart Robertson Cup sectional match (face off 5.00pm)

Paisley pirates

If YOU would like to attend this match with a friend, as a guest of the Pirates, simply answer this question:

Where do Paisley Pirates play their home matches? (ANSWER IN COMMENTS)

A draw of winning entries received will be made next week and the winners will be notified by Pm or their names mentioned on the page, (so please keep looking back)


Competition Entry

Competition is Now Finished and was picked at random, the winner is Robert MacPhee..

– More than 14,000 transatlantic flights since the service was launched in 1998 –


Glasgow Airport and United Airlines today (Thursday, October 4) celebrate 20 years of the popular New York/Newark route.

Since the first flight took to the skies to cross the Atlantic back in 1998, at that time under the banner of Continental Airlines, the route has carried more than 2.1 million passengers on over 14,000 flights between Glasgow and New York/Newark – gateway to the Big Apple and over 70 nonstop connections across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America.


Operated by a 169-seat Boeing 757-200, the daily summer route will return on Tuesday 30th April 2019, to celebrate its 21st birthday at Glasgow Airport. The route is returning five days earlier than in previous years, offering greater travel choice for 2019.


Steven Marshall, Head of Airline Marketing Development at AGS Airports Ltd, parent company of Glasgow Airport, said: “New York is one of Glasgow Airport’s most popular destinations, which is clear when you see that United Airlines has carried a phenomenal 2.1m passengers, not to mention some of Scotland’s most famous produce including whisky and sea food, during the last 20 years.


“We look forward to celebrating a further milestone when the route returns in April next year to mark 21 years of connecting Glasgow with New York and beyond.”


Commenting on 20 years of serving Glasgow, Bob Schumacher, United Airlines Managing Director U.K. and Ireland, said: “We are proud to serve Glasgow and the people of Scotland for all these years.  Since 1998, our service has allowed our customers from the west of Scotland to take advantage of our extensive route network from our New York/Newark hub to destinations across the Americas.”


Flight times for the direct daily Glasgow – New York/Newark service are as follows:


Glasgow to Newark – departs 0900 with 1135 arrival time in Newark (local)

Newark to Glasgow – departs 1940 with 0730 arrival in Glasgow

An initiative which offers support and welfare rights advice to new and expectant parents has helped maximise the income of Renfrewshire families by almost £2 .5 million in the last three years.

In Challenge Poverty Week, it can be revealed that the latest figures show that in one year alone, the 347 parents and expectant parents who used the Healthier, Wealthier Children service saw their incomes increase by a combined £704,588.

Managed by the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership and funded by Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty fund, the initiative aims to target child poverty by supporting families and helping boost the amount of income going into the household.

Set up in 2010, the Healthier Wealthier Children service has helped families from pregnancy up until the child is four years old – or until age 19 if the child has a health issue.

Kinship carers, usually grandparents, aunts, uncles or family friends who care for children because their natural parents are unable to do so, can also use the service.

A specialist advisor from Renfrewshire Council’s Advice Works, which delivers the service, helps families to do a ‘benefit check’ to ensure they’re not missing out on anything they’re entitled to, such as healthy start vouchers, maternity pay or special funds for new mums.

They’re also advised what they can claim once their child is born and referrals come from a range of services which include health visitors, social work and maternity services.

The whole family is also looked at to ensure no members are missing out.

The project also helps people with debt management, which is helpful for families who have been working and become pregnant unexpectedly.

In one case, a single mum who had to pay £100 a week in rent, had health conditions which meant she was entitled to benefits she wasn’t aware of.

After taking advice, she was able to recoup more than £6,000 in backdated housing benefit money which meant she could clear the family’s outstanding rent arrears.

The mum, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “It’s been life changing for me. I was in all sorts of debt but the advisor was able to tell me that I was on the wrong benefits and helped me get my rent sorted out as well.

“I felt like the weight of the world was off my shoulders. I was able to wake up in the morning and for the first time not feel worried about being evicted.”

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Education and Children’s Services, Cllr Jim Paterson said: “We are committed to ensuring that all children have the best possible start in life no matter what their background.

“The Healthier, Wealthier children service has had a hugely positive impact on low-income families who are struggling to make ends meet.

“The knowledge of the specialist advisor ensures that expectant and new parents, young families and kinship carers can access all the welfare payments they are entitled to and can be guided through any paperwork needed for their claims.

“The service also offers debt advice and helps ensure that young families have enough income coming in to ensure the early years of their children are the best they can be.”

There are a series of events to tackle poverty and inequality across Renfrewshire during Challenge Poverty Week, which aims to solve poverty by boosting incomes.

This Friday, the Healthier Wealthier Children team will visit Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital’s maternity clinic.

Case histories

One mum who was given help with her benefits by the Healthier, Wealthier Children service was astonished to be told she was owed thousands of pounds in backdated housing benefit.

The Renfrewshire mum-of-four, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “It’s been life changing for me. I was in all sorts of debt but the advisor was able to tell me that I was on the wrong benefits and helped me get my rent sorted out as well.

“I was able to pay all my debts back and get on top of my rent. It wasn’t just the money, I felt like the weight of the world was off my shoulders. I was able to wake up in the morning and for the first time not feel worried about being evicted.”

The mum, whose children are aged from four to 16, says that she was also able to afford swimming lessons for her children the first time.

She said: “I never learned and as a result I’m absolutely terrified of water. A great thing about the help I got was that I could book lessons for two of my children who can’t swim and my daughter can now swim.”

She added: “I’m not very good with money and I literally live from day to day but the advisor was a really good listener and was very non-judgemental.  When I thought I was hitting a brick wall she put me in touch with the right people to help me get in touch with services I didn’t know existed, like Families First.”


As Renfrewshire’s gritters start their engines ahead of the winter period, they’re set for brand-new names as part of the annual #RenReady campaign.

A chance to celebrate Renfrewshire’s people and places, the #NameOurGritters competition will name the nine gritters which Renfrewshire Council operates throughout the winter period.

When bad weather strikes, gritter drivers, carers, housing repairs and community meals teams are just a few of the heroes who keep services operating and ensure people are cared for even in the most difficult of conditions.

The competition embraces this theme and asks communities to nominate their Renfrewshire heroes, past and present, who they feel deserve to be on one of the vehicles keeping the area safe this winter.

It also recognises the places that make Renfrewshire a great place to live, work and visit and gives the community the chance to showcase them as part of the winter campaign.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “The Beast from the East last year showed the worst of the weather but during that time when many people were housebound, our teams were out working to get Renfrewshire moving and care for those in need.

“I’m sure there will be plenty of pun-led suggestions which come in, such as Paisley’s own Paolo Grittini, but the serious message behind the competition is to recognise the work that our staff do which often goes unnoticed.

“Thank you to all our staff who work on a 24/7 schedule over the winter period, often through the night. While it may not be your name on the winning gritters, you’re very much the reason behind the ones that are.

“So get your thinking caps on, submit your suggestions and keep your eyes peeled for the final vote to pick the winners.”

The suggestion period will begin on Wednesday 3 October and will run until Sunday 14 October, before the names are whittled down by a judging panel including a gritter driver, Care at Home worker and a member of the local community.

The finalists will be split into groups and the community will be invited to vote on their winners through the council’s Twitter page @RenCouncilNews.

Suggestions should have a clear link to the area and provide a strong reason for being one of the chosen winners.

Puns are welcome but while Sir Andy Flurry may win in Stirling, he would get knocked out in the first round in Renfrewshire.

For more information on the competition and how to stay safe this winter, visit

Elderslie could be set to receive a visitor boost in coming years as Renfrewshire Council move to make the most of the worldwide interest in William Wallace and develop the village as a historic tourism destination.

At a meeting of Renfrewshire Council on Thursday, local SNP councillors Andy Steel & Jacqueline Cameron successfully moved a motion calling on the council to develop activities which could make the most of the Wallace brand.

Wallace, who was born in Elderslie, lived between 1270 and 1305 and led Scotland in the First War of Independence. He defeated an English army at the famous Battle of Stirling Bridge in September 1297.

He was later captured and executed in Smithfield, London in 1305 for treason.

In 1995, Wallace was brought into global awareness after the success of the movie Braveheart staring Mel Gibson. The following year the movie won an Academy Award for Best Picture.

And now the SNP led Renfrewshire Council are exploring ways to attract more visitors to Elderslie to explore the land that a youthful Wallace would have trod himself.

Johnstone South & Elderslie councillor Andy Steel, who successfully moved a motion which called for a suite of activities to attract visitors both locally and from further afield to the area, says he hopes that the village will benefit.

Cllr Steel, said: “Villages across Scotland would give their eye teeth to have a tie to such a globally recognised name.

“It should have been done sooner, but I’m delighted that this idea is at last gaining ground. I’m looking to see the kind of events which will bring folk in from far and wide, to engage with
community, business and historic groups and get the maximum benefit for Elderslie we possibly can.”

Cllr Jacqueline Cameron, who seconded the motion, said “The rationale behind this is to help the local economy and if we can attract people to Elderslie there’s every reason to suppose they’ll visit other areas in Renfrewshire, benefiting them, too.”

“If we can do this well, everyone should win.”