It won't be long before para-canoeing will grow in popularity

RECENTLY I went out to explore the urban regener-ation of sports facilities in Glasgow.

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As we are getting closer to Glasgow 2014 - there are just five weeks to go - I wanted to find out what various communities will be able to access after Glasgow 2014.

I was invited along to Glasgow (Pinkston) Watersports Centre by Caroline Johnston, the Evening Times Volunteer Sportsperson of Year 2012, who works for Glasgow Life looking after the disability sports.

This was the first time various schools for additional needs across Glasgow were able to go along and try their hands at kayaking and white water rafting.

The Watersports Centre has only been opened for a few weeks and is situated in Port Dundas overlooking the M8 motorway.

This is the first watersports centre built in Scotland, at a cost of more than £3million.

It is big enough to do a variety of watersports and for the first time we have something which has its own artificial white water course. The water fills up the course in just 20 seconds.

It won't be long until para-canoeing will grow in popularity among people with disabilities in Scotland as para-canoe is hoping to become part of the Paralympic programme for the first time at the 2016 Paralympics Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Pinkston Watersports Centre is going to be well used by people in years to come, with a list of growing distinguished organisations keen to use it as part of their training, including the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services, who will use it to practice emergency flooding evacuation.

Triathlon Scotland, the Royal Life Saving Society and various watersports clubs will also take advantage of the facility.

This state of the art centre, which looks onto the Forth and Clyde Canal, has been a fantastic investment for the area.

A few years ago, I would have associated Speirs Wharf/Port Dundas as an industrialised area for brewing, with the smell of grain as you drove pass giving a big clue as to what they were producing.

Over the last few years, we have seen the true extent of the legacy Glasgow 2014 will have in terms of venues.

The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome...the SSE Hydro... the newly refurbished Tollcross Swimming Centre which will host the 2015 IPC Swimming European Championships... and of course the Pinkston Watersports Centre, the latest attraction to join the list of venues that everyone can use regardless of abilities.

I think the urban regeneration for Glasgow has been a great success so far and it will hopefully encourage everyone to adopt a healthier and active lifestyle after the Glasgow 2014 Games.

I've seen the effect of keeping up my physical strength, and it also gives your confidence a boost.

Get ready for Glasgow 2014 and be ready to embrace the opportunity of taking up a new sport afterwards. Find out more about Pinkston Watersports Centre at


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