Shell Twilight Basketball sessions have been delivered every Friday in Lochgelly since June 2013, to provide young people in the community with a safe place to take part in positive physical activity. The session brings people together to improve confidence, life skills and overall wellbeing. There is a real need in the community for activities like Shell Twilight Basketball. Lochgelly and the surrounding area are deprived and really suffer from issues with youth disorder. Shell Twilight Basketball offers a unique approach to engaging with young people, our sessional staff integrate youth work and sport to ensure participants are at the heart of the programme.
A participant who recently became a volunteer coach, had this to say about the programme;
“I think the Shell Twilight Basketball session helps the community by getting kids out of the house, getting them off the streets and bringing them into a safe environment.”
Our session leaders are vital to the success of our programmes. For a lot of the young people we work with, our sessional staff may be the only positive role models in their lives. Our ambassador programme gives the young people the opportunity to develop their skills as a leader and role model. Two participant volunteers commented on the importance of role models and what they do to positively influence at their session;
“The first role models I ever looked up to were my coaches at Twilight.”
“I feel that I’m considered to be a role model as I’m always cheerful, I try to engage with everyone and give them someone they can talk to if needed.”
In Lochgelly we have a group of volunteers who have grown through the programme and developed their skills to lead the session every week, completely unassisted. Over 20 young people attend the session weekly and it continues to attract new participants. One of the volunteers had this to say about the programme:
“Shell Twilight Basketball has helped me become a good role model and a good coach. They have given me opportunities to further my career e.g. Ambassador programme, UKCC Level 1 basketball coaching award and coaching my own team.”
These amazing participant volunteers are at the centre of everything we are trying to do to hand our tried and tested initiative back to the community. The Ambassador programme really has allowed us to create the next generation of Shell Twilight Basketball leaders who are more confident, more skilled and more aspirational. Alongside their volunteering commitments, each of the volunteers have recently moved on to positive destinations including college & employment.
“Shell Twilight Basketball has helped me at college as I take new skills learned from other coaches and take them to college and use them in my classes. It’s helped me be more confident with other people if I don’t know them as much. Shell Twilight Basketball has encouraged me to keep thriving to gain my career in sport (basketball) and to help me gain qualifications in this college year.”
We are really proud of the outcome in Lochgelly and the young people who have stepped up to ensure that the session can continue on a self-sustaining basis. The Community Use team have been fully supportive of the session and continue to offer a free space every week to make sure the young people in the community have something positive to do. We hope to see more of our sessions follow suit to change the lives of more young people across Scotland for years to come.