Five years in the making, Scotland’s first competition standard, purpose built watersports centre has quite the story to tell.
Located in the Pinkston Basin on the Forth & Clyde Canal, opposite the former Diageo plant at Port Dundas, the development of the Pinkston Watersports Centre was driven by partners in the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Project – Glasgow City Council, British Waterways Scotland (now T/A Scottish Canals) and ISIS Regeneration (now T/A Waterside Places)- alongsideScottish Waterways Trust and a dedicated charitable company, Glasgow Watersports. This company was formed by a group of eager group of watersports enthusiasts to fundraise for the centre and then manage and develop Pinkston Watersports once it opened.
In 2010 an independent annual survey commissioned on behalf of the Royal Yachting Association, the British Marine Federation, the Maritime and Coastguard Association and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute of adult participation revealed that canoeing was the most popular and fastest growing water sport for the seventh year running. However, within the City of Glasgow, there were no specific facilities for watersports. And whilst there were centres elsewhere in the country, Scotland was lacking a purpose-built whitewater course.
The aim of the centre was to offer something for everyone; a training facility for elite athletes on the artificial white water course, a venue for regular paddlesport club and open water swimming sessions, a water safety training resource for the Scottish Fire Service and Royal Life Saving Society and a community hub providing the opportunity for local people – whether beginners or seasoned enthusiasts – to get out on the water.
The new home of Scottish watersports was officially completed in May 2014, as the £3.25 million Pinkston Watersports Centre handed over to Scottish Canals and charitable body Glasgow Watersports.