Apr 6 2012 by Andy Galloway, Lennox Herald (main ed)
FORMER top-flight referee Kenny Clark is to be the vice-chairman of West Dunbartonshire’s new leisure trust.
And the ex-whistler didn’t even need to be approached to help – he applied for the post himself.
The trust, which is a not-for-profit organisation, is set to invest £1million into new equipment and facilities over the next three years.
The benefits could be seen within months as the area’s leisure centres take delivery of the first new gym equipment to be ordered in 10 years.
There will also be a new sports floor at the Meadow Centre’s main hall and a spin bike studio at Alexandria CE Centre.
Kenny, who works as a solicitor in Dumbarton, refereed many Old Firm games and cup finals – and now wants to put something back into local sport and the community.
He said: “I’m pleased to get involved as it helps the community where I have worked for 25 years. Sport and leisure are important because if young people are involved they stand a better chance of avoiding getting into trouble.
“Hopefully this will mean that leisure services in the community are not only maintained but improved. The trust wishes to make leisure centres a genuine base for the community.
“The post of vice-chairman was advertised and a friend brought it to my attention as something I might be interested in, so I applied and was interviewed.”
Kenny’s new position also offers him the chance to be involved in sport again, having retired as a top-flight referee in 2008.
He added: “There is an element of being involved in sport again, having been a referee and watched my sons play football. But it is about other sports as well, whether it is badminton, judo clubs or yoga classes that the trust can help.
“It is important for the whole area and to help its image that people have access to the facilities the trust hopes to offer.”
West Dunbartonshire Council leader Ronnie McColl, who will be the chairman of the trust, known as WD Leisure, said: “I’m delighted to see the leisure trust launch with such an exciting pledge to invest funds and commitment to improving customer service in leisure and community facilities.
“It was only by creating a leisure trust that we were able to source this money and begin the much needed enhancement of the area’s leisure centres and community facilities.
“I have big hopes that the improvements will also lead to increased participation and improved health among our local community.”