Pinkston paddlesports

“This is amazing! I’ve never done anything like this before.”

Core to the ethos of Pinkston Watersports is that we are a resource that provides opportunities for our community.  This is one of our 3 key strategic objectives of Community, Social Enterprise, and Sport. 

While Pinkston is accessed by people from all walks of life and from right across the UK and beyond, we are based among some of the most deprived areas in the country. Because of this there are many ways in which people on our doorstep face the biggest challenges to benefitting from our facilities. 

We work with a range of groups who this applies to and we actively build on what we can offer that challenges the cultural and financial barriers to participation.   One group recently has been North United Communities in Glasgow - who are now benefitting from a 5 session kayaking course funded by Tesco Bags of Help. As this is underway we are also looking at longer term options to provide opportunities that match the interest and enthusiasm of this inspiring group of young people.

This group is great fun to work with, so our experience was made even better to hear such positive feedback from them:

Here's what Sylvia from NUC had to say about Pinkston Watersports -

"This group of young people have been known to be very challenging and have been dismissed by their community and organisations within. We were commissioned to work with this group by Community Safety Glasgow, the local housing association and the police. Scott and I then began working with this group around 4 months ago. We felt that that this particular group deserved a chance and wanted to give them an opportunity to attend consistent weekly sessions offering variety and opportunities.

This group have attended Pinkston Watersports Centre twice now and as a worker I feel it has been a very rewarding experience for the group. I was amazed at how determined the young people were when they were making their rafts. They were communicating effectively with the members of their team to ensure that they got the job done. As they were rafting, it was great to see both teams having some friendly banter and competition and having a great laugh!!

Pinkston Watersports instructors were amazing! They interacted well with the young people and made them feel really welcome and at ease. I noticed that the young people reciprocated and really responded well to them.

As a worker, it was really great to see these young people being welcomed and not judged.

We massively appreciate being invited back to Pinkston Watersports!! "

And from the young people:

"This is amazing! I've never done anything like this before."

"This has been the best trip so far, could we do more!"

"This is banging!"

"I'm knackered, I'm not going to make the Celtic game now!"

"Can we do more things like this?"

"The instructors were brand new!"

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SUP yoga

We are excited to be working with Project SUP - a community based initiative to encourage more people to take up SUP

With their support we are able to offer regular SUP introductory sessions - - see eventbrite and facebook for more dates and times.

There has also been a real buzz around their SUP yoga sessions

We are looking forward to seeing you on the water for a whole new experience at Pinkston!

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Schools Information Drop-In

Invite to Pinkston Information Drop-in

The delivery team at Pinkston Watersports (working in partnership with Queens Cross Housing, Bethany Christian Trust, The Scottish Canoe Association, Glasgow Kelvin College, and others) would like to invite those working with young people in schools and youth organisations to come and find out about the opportunities that are available:

Our ethos is grounded in using the outdoors, and watersports in particular as a catalyst to promoting positive health and well-being and resilience.
However, as a consequence this is closely tied with objectives that are key to delivery within schools. The activities on offer are ideal especially for young people who are struggling within the school environment. It may be that Pupil Equity Funding or Attainment Challenge funding may offer a way in to providing these opportunities.

We would love it if you could join us on Thursday 6th September from 4-6pm (drop-in) to find out more and speak to those who are involved in delivering the project

Homework Clubs
This model was piloted in the spring of 2018 to great success. We are now looking to offer this more widely to schools in the local area. The package includes transport to the venue, snack, quiet space to complete homework, support from a youth worker, with the added incentive and health benefits of participation in watersports -

These clubs are led by professional coaches and youth workers, supported by volunteer coaches (PVG checks in place) and the aim is to build a sustainable approach whereby there is an opportunity for peer supported engagement in watersport leading to the development of leadership skills, coaching qualifications, and even a career in the outdoors (although the aim is to build transferable skills rather than focus on the outdoors being the outcome).

Other activities on offer at Pinkston:
• SQA Qualification: A 12 week programme leading to skills accreditation and a SCQF level 5 award -
• Paddlepower courses: Skills based courses aimed at young people
• Team building and other activities: We offer a range of activities from raft-building, zorbs, Stand-up paddleboards, and kayaking

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Swimming at Pinkston

Pinkston Offers a fantastic city venue for open water swimmers. It is close, convenient, and safe, with water treated to ensure the maintenance of bathing quality. For those time-poor open water swimmers and triathletes training for open water events it offers the opportunity to get open water training in without the time required to travel to a loch. For those new to open water swimming it offers a safe environment for that initial foray into the world of open water.

Over the years we have been privileged to play host to Glasgow Triathlon Club’s swimming and aquathon sessions, as well as being the venue for ProEndurance Coaching's regular coached sessions. However the timing, or other factors, of these doesn't always tick the right boxes, and there is an ever growing appetite for accessible and convenient open water sessions.  Earlier this year we were approached by Triathlon Scotland about increasing opportunities for participation, and this saw the start of a new relationship. With the support of funding from Glasgow 2018 , Triathlon Scotland and the RLSS  supported us in training 2 open water life-guards and purchased a number of swimming wetsuits which are not only available for Triathlon Scotland events but can also be hired for open swim sessions run at Pinkston by any swimming provider. Triathlon Scotland have also now run a number of beginners sessions to support people take that first step into open water.  This addition to the offer for swimmers means that open water is ever more accessible to those it may not have been before.

We are now in a position to offer open to the public swim sessions at Pinkston – initially on a Sunday morning and Monday lunchtimes as open life-guarded sessions.  If these go well and uptake is good we will look at building on the availability.  Sessions are designed to complement the offerings of Glasgow Triathlon Club and ProEndurance Coaching offering increased accessibility. Being able to offer such a variety of opportunities is only achievable by working with others – Triathlon Scotland, Glasgow Triathlon Club and ProEndurance Coaching; a fact that is key to the very ethos of Pinkston. “Community”, “Sport”, and “Social Enterprise” are our 3 key strategic objectives and the collaborative and inclusive base of this new venture fits right in with this. We owe a big thank you to those who made it happen.

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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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