Sports journalist Alison Walker is learning Portuguese – because the famous Pele told her to! This was one of the many things she revealed to around 100 Glasgow Business Club members at their lunch meeting today in Firhill Stadium.
Introduced by President Norman Ferguson, Alison recounted her rise to fame despite the frequent, chauvinistic attitudes of her male colleagues. ‘I’d never admit I’d two children,’ she said.
She reeled off a list of eminent sports people she’d interviewed and told delightful, insightful tales of incidents along the way. At the 2012 Olympics, Pele was one of her interviewees – along with David Beckham, Henry Kissinger and the King of Spain. She told Pele she’d love to report on the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. ‘He advised me to learn the language. So that’s why I’ve spent the last six months at Glasgow University learning Brazilian Portuguese!’ she recounted.
Recently she set up her own media training company. ‘I’ve time to spend with my children now. But as they’re teenagers, they don’t want to spend time with me!’
Next month the guest speaker will be Margaret Curran, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland. Known until recently as Glasgow South Business Club, the organisation now holds meetings in a wider geographic field than it did before. Therefore the meeting on May 21 will be at GTG Training Centre in South Street, G14 0BJ. For futher details check the Glasgow Business Club’s website.
It was magic for nearly 150 youngsters from a dozen schools in and around Glasgow who played in the Variety Scotland 5-aside tournament today.
The annual event was held in Toryglen Sports Centre. Real magician Stevo, who’d just flown in from a big gig in Germany, and his colleague Tickles who was, appropriately, dressed in pink, entertained while the teams in three age groups competed.
Who won in the under 12s, the 12-14 and the over 15s categories may be revealed at a later stage. But the best bit was socialising and playing the game. ‘This was football and it was fun,’ said one 10-year-girl at the end.
Variety Scotland Chairman, Iain Forbes and long serving Variety member Jack Zimmer were delighted with the turnout. Said Iain: ‘We bring together kids from special schools and schools in less well off areas to compete in a friendly way in sport.’
The Variety Scotland coaches were on duty outside to take everyone home at the end.
The charity, till recently called the Variety Club of Scotland, holds major events to raise funds for their work. Their annual race meeting will be in Hamilton on 23 August and they are already well ahead with plans for their St Andrew’s Night Tartan Ball in November.
‘We spend 90p out of every £1 we raise in Scotland,’ explained Iain. ‘Volunteers do the bulk of the work with only two part time staff in a small office which is about to move to Westerton.’
While the organisers talked, the children played. Said class assistant Evlyn Sim of Kirkrigg School in Castlemilk: ‘This has been a fun day. The children had a great time and it generates a great team spirit.’
In common with many Community Councils (CC) in the city, Yorkhill & Kelvingrove CC is struggling because of lack of local activists.
A public meeting on Tuesday 16 April at 7pm in the Gaelic School in Berkeley Street will discuss its future. Said Chairman Tony Ownsworth: ‘Our Secretary, sadly, died of cancer. Our Treasurer recently stepped down after giving long warning that he’d vacate the volunteer position. I’ve been chairman for a number of years and would like to go out and smell the roses but I’m having to do the work of chair, secretary and treasurer.’
But the group will have only 1 hour and 40 minutes to deliberate as that is the strict time of the hire of the venue. ‘In the past we use the community centre in Overnewton Square but it was far too cold and is currently closed,’ said Tony. ‘This is a very important meeting to determine whether and how our Community Council is to continue.’
He added: ‘I’ve put notices up around the area but I noticed some of them had been taken down which is very disappointing. We could do with someone who knows how to operate our Facebook page. I’m sure that would help.’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their first formal visit to Glasgow yesterday.
They spent the morning meeting young people at the city’s recently opened £113 million Emirates Arena. The flagship venue will host badminton and track cycling events in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It is a key part of the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. Later this year the Junior Track World Championships and World Youth Netball Championships will take place there.
During their tour of the state-of-the-art facility the Royal couple watched pupils from the Glasgow School of Sports and other aspiring athletes, training in athletics, track cycling, badminton, football and netball. They then viewed a Glasgow 2014 exhibition where they met young people including Beth Gilmour who designed Glasgow 2014 mascot Clyde and apprentices who were employed as part of the Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative. They also met Mahad Ahmed and Jasmine Main – young ambassadors for Glasgow’s bid for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games – and some City Building apprentices who worked on the construction of the Emirates Arena.
Next they went to Drumchapel’s Glasgow Club Donald Dewar. There they launched a Scottish pilot of the innovative Coach Core project. Launched last July just before the London 2012 Olympic Games, Coach Core aims to inspire and train the next generation of sports coaches across the UK.
It is hoped that the Glasgow project will form an important part of the legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.
The Royal Foundation is partnering with Glasgow Life and the Hunter Foundation on the initiative.
Chair of Glasgow Life and the Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “This visit highlights our shared vision and commitment to sport in Glasgow, from investing in world-class facilities such as the stunning new Emirates Arena through to our partnership with The Royal Foundation, which will create coaching opportunities at a grassroots level. Sports coaches are at the very heart of sport in Glasgow and we are honoured that their Royal Highnesses chose the city to launch the Scottish pilot of the Coach Core initiative. London 2012 inspired a generation and we want to continue that journey through the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Coach Core will help us do that.”
Sir Tom Hunter, Chairman of The Hunter Foundation which has provided funding to The Royal Foundation to enable the delivery of the Coach Core programme in Glasgow, said: “Coach Core is an exceptional model of positive social intervention because it uses sport to enable lasting change at grassroots, community level. We are delighted to have supported The Royal Foundation in bringing this important initiative to Scotland. Our hope is that the apprentice coaches employed by Glasgow Life each year will deliver transformational change in their communities through sports development. We’d also like to see Coach Core in every local authority in Scotland through the leadership of The Royal Foundation and Glasgow Life.”
Glasgow 2014 Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, said: “We were absolutely delighted to show the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge how young people are an integral part of the journey towards the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the biggest multi-sport event Scotland has ever seen.
“Young people have been involved in all of our major milestones from the creation of our official games mascot, called Clyde,
to the design of the official Glasgow 2014 tartan and right through to the Commonwealth apprentices who work on delivering the Games at our Glasgow headquarters.”
Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games ambassador Jasmine Main said: “It was a fantastic experience being able to tell the Duchess of Cambridge about the city’s plans to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.”
Love Music Hate Racism is celebrating years of inspiring people to love their neighbour with an exhibition of poster showing some of the great Rock Against Racism gigs where their message was sung out to the world.
The vintage posters will be on view till 30 April in the Platform library in Easterhouse. There, Glasgow leaders in the fight against fascism, launched the exhibition in proper style – with music from the Honest Mistakes. Among the songs sung by the trio of Brian Gibson, Chris Reilly and Steve Dollan, was the famous Italian anti-fascist song :Bella Ciao.’ Their rendition was followed by a photographer spontaneously singing it in Chinese!
‘That could only happen in group like this,’ said doyen Margaret Wood who has been at the forefront of the fight against race hatred for many years.
She told the gathering: ‘Sadly this fight has to go on. So it is really good that school children today will be coming to see this exhibition and to have workshops about what it all means. The rich people who run our society are our enemy, not our neighbours.’
Making his first public speech as chairman of United Against Fascism Scotland, John McFadden of the Fire Brigade Union said: ‘There was never a better time to have this exhibition. We are in the middle of a severe economic crisis and the same issues are being raised. It is disgraceful for the Prime Minister to be saying things like: -’ we must guard against people from afar because they are stealing our welfare.’ Let us not fall into the trap of making migrants and other incomers, scapegoats. We have to support and celebrate our multi-cultural society and promote peace, love and tolerance. Those are the qualities that will stop the hatred and poison that comes from the right wing fascists. And we need to be aware that such a hate filled movement is growing in Europe and here.’
Dave Sherry of UNITE union’s Housing Association branch – one of the sponsors of the exhibition- remembered the excitement of a Rock Against Racism event in London in 1978. ‘Elvis Costello could only get to the stage by helicopter because of the huge mass of people. It was really electrifying and terrifying too, but it got the message out. And we must keep doing that,’ he said.
Amal Azzudin and Emma Clifford, who were two of the seven Glasgow school girls who challenged the authorities when one of their classmates was whipped away in a dawn raid on the asylum seeking family in 2005, also attended the exhibition launch. Said Emma, who now works for the BBC and Sunny Govan Radio: ‘I’m glad the exhibition involves schoolkids in workshops. And that it is travelling around the country.’ Added Amal, who is working for the Mental Health Foundation: ‘Music is such a great medium to use to raise awareness. The Big Names involved in Rock Against Racism get the message to a wider audience.’
Noreen Real and Jean Donnachie who were honoured by the Evening Times for their fight to protect asylum seekers from dawn raids in their tower block, were at the Easterhouse launch too. Both poudly wearing the silver lapel pin from the Evening Times 25th Women of the Year anniversary, they enjoyed the evening and Jean even joined the musicians in a song. ‘I want everyone to go and see the stage version of the Glasgow Girls when it comes back to Glasgow,’ she said. Then launched into the song that the character in the musical – portraying her – sings. ‘ These are my weans now.’ These two remarkable pensioners and the seven schoolgirls are all current examples of people fighting racism.
‘That’s why we need to keep supporting Love Music Hate Racism, Rock Against Racism and find all the best ways to combat fascism,’ said Margaret Wood. ‘It is still out there and a threat to us all.’
Anyone interested in the Southside of Glasgow, its history, traditions, fun and music will have a feast on Saturday 23 March 2013 when an all-day conference will be held by the South Glasgow Heritage and Environment Trust.
The day will include many great speakers who can tell about the Music, Mirth and Magic of the cultural life of that part of the city. Pantomime, Temperance and the Glasgow Apollo are on the list of subjects to be discussed.
All of this for £10 which includes lunch in the cosy environment of the Premier Inn, Ballater Street, Gorbals G5 from 10.30am till 4pm.
The Sighthill stone circle, the first astronomically aligned circle to be built in Britain for over 3000 years, faces demolition in preparing Glasgow’s bid for the 2018 Youth Olympics.
The campaign to save it has revealed that the circle is far better known and more used than either its builders or Glasgow City Council was aware. Although the circle was built for scientific and educational purposes, and as a tribute to four prominent archaeo – astronomers all connected with the city, it means a great deal to other people for other reasons. Many go there for prayer, reflection or meditation, to enjoy the views, for the park setting and wildlife, or just for peace and quiet.
The petition to save the circle has more than 3,400 signatures with support from celebrities and cross-party backing from MSPs. Another 600 are on Facebook with comments from people in Sighthill and other parts of Glasgow and from across Scotland, the UK and the world.
Recent publication of “The Stones and the Stars, Building Scotland’s Newest Megalith” by Duncan Lunan, who designed the circle as Project Manager in 1979, has brought the circle’s existence to ever-growing attention.
For years there has been a Christian memorial at the circle maintained by the Forbes family, whose mother’s ashes are scattered there – as are others, it’s now known. But many other groups such as Pagans and Druids have been using the circle for ceremonies during the solar year and are now doing so in a more organised way, to draw attention to the use they make of it and their wish for it to remain.
Wednesday 20 March 2013 marks the spring equinox, with sunrise at 06:19 am. On that day the sun is overhead at the equator and day and night have equal length all over the world. Druid and Pagan groups will be present to mark both sunrise and sunset, inviting all of like mind and sympathisers to join them. There will be walking and cycling tours passing through, and origami classes and other impromptu events through the day. Sunset at 6:31pm will be the main event.
For details please see:
Duncan Lunan is scheduled to lecture on the Sighthill stone circle on Wednesday 10 April 2013 at Carnegie Library in Ayr; for details of that and other talks, and to sign the petition, go to the website www.sighthillstonecircle.net
Or contact Duncan by email: email@example.com.
Musician Declan Sinnott was in town as a highlight of the St Patrick’s Festival on the Southside. But the Wexford man should return for the Comedy Festival as his banter at Glad Cafe delighted the capacity audience.
However, it was his music they’d come to hear and after more than two hours of continuous song with Vickie Keating’s voice being a natural complement, the audience was reluctant to let him go. Only the strict closing hours of the Glad Cafe brought a fine night to an end.
Known for his work as producer, guitarist and musical director for Ireland’s world-renowned Mary Black,Declan has recently gone solo.
As he explained it, he was so nervous singing solo, he decided he needed someone else with him. Which is where Vickie came in.
The emotions covered by the songs cover most human conditions. He modestly suggested that since he’s 62 and can sing ‘Blood is Rushing Through These Veins,’ there is hope for any men of his vintage to experience the same joy. It isn’t only that he sings it, he wrote it with Owen O’Brien and one can only imagine, he’s experienced the feelings it reveals.
Most of the songs on his first album were written with Owen. Declan makes it a point of honour to talk about the songwriters. He also tells the stories of how the songs came to be made and relates the history of the surrounding events to the extent that at least one parent in the audience uses Declan to educate his children.
Declan’s first solo album is titled: I love the noise it makes. Everyone at Glad Cafe last night would rephrase that to read: I love the noise Declan makes. Singing or playing, this man is in a class of his own. Sign up for his next album now.
As part of the South Side Festival activities, a green celebration of Irish culture has been swinging along nicely over this St Patrick’s day time.
On Saturday, 16 March, at the Glad Cafe in Shawlands at 1006 Pollokshaws Road, Declan Sinnott will be playing and singing to entertain folks in this intimate community enterprise venue. With a career spanning over 40 years, Declan has worked with Irish folk luminaries such as Christy Moore, Mary Black, Sinead Lohan and John Spillane. He was a founding member of Horslips and Moving Hearts – two of the most influential trad /electric bands in Ireland, and spent 13 years guiding Mary Black’s career, producing the majority of her music.
Since 2000, Declan has been guitarist and producer to Christy Moore, who was recently named as Ireland’s greatest living musician in RTÉ’s People of the Year Awards.
Following the release of his critically acclaimed debut album “I love the Noise It Makes” in 2012, Sinnott has been touring. The penultimate of five stops on the tour, the Glasgow gig is not to be missed – though you’ll have a job finding a ticket at this stage.
Described by the Daily Telegraph as “One of Ireland’s most respected musicians”, Sinnott’s performances in Coatbridge and York will be part of their St Patrick Day Festivals.
Thursday 7 March 2013
For almost two hours today, people spoke in Gordon Street, Glasgow using a megaphone. No one was arrested. Last week, when exactly the same public protest was being made - about Atos, a sponsor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – two people were arrested after a heavy squad of police officers ‘kettled’ them.
‘We want the charges dropped,’ said Sean Clerkin, one of the speakers last week and today. ‘They were doing nothing wrong. They were simply speaking with a megaphone. I’ve lodged a formal complaint with the Chief Constable and understand it is being investigated.’
Today’s public gathering attracted a crowd which averaged between 40 and 50 people at any one time.
Said Paul McKenna, another speaker: ‘It is vital we defend our right of free speech. We are calling for charges against the Anti-cuts activists – the Atos 2 – to be dropped. We’ll be outside the Glasgow Sheriff Court on Friday 22 March to support them and let the public know what is happening.’