Pinkston paddlesports

Homework Club at Pinkston

At Pinkston we are excited to be working with the Bethany Christian Trust and Queens Cross Housing to offer this Homework club to a group of young people from Hillhead Highschool.

This pilot is running between the Easter and Summer holidays to use the facilities at Pinkston as a positive focus for young people that will impact on life more widely.  Our ethos at Pinkston is strongly embedded in the belief that outdoor activity and sport can have an impact on all aspects of life - including their mental and physical health, resilience, confidence, team-working skills and motivation.  It has been very exciting seeing the response these young people have had to the sessions on the water - we can only hope that we manage to have a similar positive impact on the homework side of things!

The idea behind the homework club came from a gathering of a group of people who have the same belief - and from a wide range of professional backgrounds including The Scottish Canoe Association, Glenmore Lodge, Blairvadach Outdoor Centre, Queens Cross Housing, NG Homes, Active Schools, Bethany Christian Trust, and Glasgow Kelvin College.  There was a clear motivation in this group to make canoeing and kayaking more accessible - and there were the pieces there to make this possible at a minimal cost to young people by tying this in with the development of young coaches and volunteers.  Round the table we had representatives from groups looking for coaching opportunities, groups looking for opportunities to take part, and the support of Queens Cross Housing in offering transport.  This pilot project is the first step in bringing together these pieces to promote opportunities to take part in paddlesports, develop skills, and for young people to build skills through volunteering that will help them as they pursue careers in whatever field they chose.  During and following on from this project we are looking to find ways to support a clear volunteering project at Pinkston that will allow us to support volunteer coaches from youth organisations (similar to the Pinkston Paddlers for those who remember this), as well as link other volunteer coaches with community groups who are hoping to access the water.  Watch this space to see how it develops!

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New Activities - Raft Building

As the new season rolls in at Pinkston we are looking at some of the new activities that we will be offering directly onsite this summer.  These will be available to community groups, for team building activities, and for kids birthday parties.

We were lucky to have the help of our friends at SiMY Community Development (one of the many fantastic youth organisations who use the facilities at Pinkston) for our first session.  We are looking forward to seeing them back again to work on other raft building techniques - but challenge you to see whether your rafts can stay the right way up for longer!  Get in touch for more information on how to book a session

0141 332 5636

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Still Game at Pinkston

Saturday night saw the showing on BBC 1 of a particularly exciting episode of the much loved comedy Still Game.  Pinkston offered the scene for an out of control car with Callum, an old flame of Isa's along with Boabby from the clansman inside to come careering down the road, through the gate, and into the canal.  Jack and Victor jump in in an attempt to save the day.  But ultimately it is Methodone Mick who comes to the rescue.

We are pleased to say that no gates (or paddlers!) were harmed in the filming of this episode 

(picture from Still Game on Facebook - click to link)

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SQA at Pinkston

Last week saw the start of our SQA SCQF level 5 course with a group of young people from St Roch's school. We are working closely with the outdoor education team at Glasgow Kelvin College to deliver this, and Pinkston's Fraser and the college's Crawford have hit the ground running with these young people.

This course started in our newly developed "classroom 3" - don't worry we're not hiring this one out! This was real outdoor learning in action. Following an introduction to the course and the sport of kayaking these young people were soon kitted out and on the water. This wasn't without a swimmer or three (4?!) but this quickly led to figuring out when a boat will and will not tip! This was the start of 12 weeks focused on skill development that will culminate in a journey along the canal to explore North Glasgow from a different angle.

Kayaking is a great way to build confidence and resilience, and a key strategic objective for Pinkston is to offer this as widely as possible. Our aim is to provide life skills. By facing the challenges that kayaking throws at us (Why won't it go where I want it to?! How do I make my boat do what his/hers is doing?! Why do I keep falling in?! Oh my the water is cold!) we all learn a little bit about ourselves, a bit about the people we are working with, a bit about following instructions, and a whole lot about trial and error. For every little challenge we overcome we get a little bit stronger. This course is designed to offer those challenges, but also to provide participants with the toolkit to overcome them. It is particularly, but not exclusively, targeted at young people who might be finding the challenges of school too difficult to overcome. Our vision is that the confidence and problem solving skills enhanced and built during the following 12 weeks will not only allow these young people to complete this course, but also to go on and face other challenges in their future. As part of this course young people will have the opportunity gain their SCA 2* and an SCQF level 5 qualification. This can be used as a prerequisite for going onto study outdoor education, can help gain entry to college, and could even potentially count towards a college course.

To the young people who took part - thank you so much for coming and for being such good sports. We are looking forward to working with you on this course!

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International Paddling Film Festival is coming back to Pinkston

During a week of the worst snow we have seen in years, we are looking ahead to the paddling adventures that 2018 has in store.  And we would love to play a part in inspiring some of yours!

We are hosting this as a fundraiser to help support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds access paddlesports at Pinkston.  There will be a bar and raffle on the night.  For a full list of raffle prizes please see the end of this post.

The International Paddling Film Festival is coming back to Pinkston on 28th April 2018 and tickets are on sale now  get the date in your diary grin

Tickets Here

The Paddling Film Festival is an international adventure film tour presenting the world’s best paddling films of the year – whitewater, sea kayaking, canoeing, SUP, action and lifestyle – in more than 120 cities and towns across Canada, United States and around the world.

With 20 inspiring paddling films shortlisted for the World Tour, including the 10 festival category winners, audiences will see hairy whitewater action, sea kayakers exploring remote coastlines, northern river canoe expeditions, international river travel films, motivating environmental documentaries, grueling kayak fishing battles and hilarious short films capturing the lighter side of paddling life.

Attracting paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts, audiences can expect a fun, social and entertaining event inspired by compelling films like:

Chasing Wild - Three friends set off on a 400-kilometer bikepacking and packraft expedition to understand what is at stake as new mines are developed across the Sacred Headwaters; Connected By Canoe - The canoe has many lessons to teach, such as “we’re all in the same boat”—can it also help Canadians of all backgrounds, regions and beliefs build an equitable, sustainable and inclusive future?; Dugout - Two friends come up with a simple plan. Travel to the Ecuadorian Amazon, live with an Indigenous community, learn how to build a canoe, then go on an adventure; Freedom – When avid kayaker Emily faces the biggest challenge of her life she shows us how to live without regrets; Inside The Indus - Adventure kayakers Aniol Serrasolses, Mike Dawson and Ciaran Heurteau venture into the Rondu Gorge on the Indus River in Northern Pakistan to take on extreme whitewater; Into Twin Galaxies - Using kite skis, three National Geographic Adventurers Of The Year tow their whitewater kayaks more than 1,000 kilometers on the Greenland Ice Cap to reach the most northern river ever paddled; Return From Desolation - The story of an Afghan War vet who fought his way back from addiction and certain death through the wild, serpentine rivers of the American Southwest; The Time Travelers - The USA Rafting Team has never won a world championship, but that didn't stop them from attempting to break a legendary speed record through the Grand Canyon.

Raffle Prizes - Many thanks to all the kind donors!:

Family Climbing session at TCA 

Half day rafting with Splash Rafting

Meal at Nandos St Enoch's Centre

West Brewery -Tour for 2 people

Vouchers for Glasgow Wake Park

River knifes and Kit Bags from Peak

10 gym sessions at Everyday Athlete

More still to be announced!

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Park and Play returns

As the weather is almost getting warmer we were delighted to welcome back our Monday night regulars to park and play.  The added challenge of the still wintery temperature was more than made up for by the buzzing atmosphere that paddlers bring.

Please get in touch with us for more information about Park and Play, or about any of the sessions delivered at Pinkston

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Launch of Glasgow Social Enterprise Network Pocket Guide

"A social enterprise is a dynamic, ethical and sustainable way of doing business which positively impacts communities and makes a difference to people, the environment and the economy"

At Pinkston Watersports we are very proud of our strategic objectives - strongly rooted in operating as a successful business for the purpose of benefiting our local community.  We are also very proud to be part of a fantastic network of other enterprises operating in Glasgow for the wider social good.  

Look out for us on page 122 - Pocket Guide to Glasgow Social Enterprise Network

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Glasgow Hang Challenge and Open Day at Pinkston

Pinkston played host to the Glasgow Hang Challenge on Wednesday 24th January as part of our early in the year open day.  Despite being a cold and blustery January day the centre was buzzing with people, with new faces taking part in the hang challenge, and in rafting sessions delivered by Outdoor Pursuits Scotland.

There were nearly 30 people at our first park and play session of 2018, 16 new rafters, and a whole host of people taking on the hang challenge.  We also thoroughly enjoyed talking with people who may be bringing groups to take part in community activities offered by Pinkston over the coming year.

We are excited to see what the rest of 2018 brings!

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Welcome to 2018 at Pinkston

We are very much in the quiet period at Pinkston, with the weather colder and the basin even freezing over on occasion.  It has been great to see an assortment of users still making full use of the water – clubs, freestyle, slalom, rescue services – all still braving the weather to make the most of what Pinkston has to offer.  We admire your dedication!

For the staff and trustees for Glasgow Watersports we are looking forward to continuing to work with the great people we have built relationships with over the past 4 years, but are also looking ahead at building the service on offer.  We are excited to see how this pans out, and will continue to welcome any feedback or suggestions that would help us on this journey!

As part of an introduction to/reminder of some of the direct sessions for schools and community groups, and commercial sessions for the wider public we are having an open day on the 24th January .  As part of this day we will be hosting the Glasgow Hang Challenge .  So please come along and find out more.  As well as the hang challenge there will be free canoe taster sessions from 2-5pm, and free rafting sessions delivered by our friends at Outdoor Pursuits Scotland (to book contact, and a free park and play from 4-6pm.  We'll also be available from 2-7pm to have a chat about some of the sessions that we can offer your groups - ranging from one off session to an SQA accredited course.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 24th!

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Paddle Power Summer Scheme

With the support of Tesco Groundworks Scheme we were able to offer the opportunity to over 40 young people through local youth groups and organisations to take part in a week long kayaking course over the summer holidays.  As part of this course the young people were able to get a paddlepower passport and certificate, and many by the end of the week were paddling down the white-water course.  We hope they all had as much fun as we did, but the smiles suggested they might have!  One of the objectives of Pinkston Water-sports is to ensure that everyone is able to experience the fun and wider benefits that water-sports can provide.  Everyone at Pinkston is looking forward to continuing to run these and similar sessions in the future, and hope to see some of those who took part over the summer back to join in some of the other activities that we have on offer.

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