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Successful Shell Twilight Basketball Residential at Kilgraston School

Press Release

On Friday the 13th of April 28 young people from across Scotland arrived at Kilgraston School to kick off this year’s Shell Twilight Basketball Ambassador programme. This induction residential training weekend marks the first step of a year-long programme that motivates and supports young people to take on leadership roles, become positive role models to their peers, and volunteer in their local communities. Ambassadors completed training in positive role modelling, goal setting, behaviour management, and child protection. They also completed their ‘Make it Happen’ Basketball Coaching award, delivered by Basketball Scotland. Training was also facilitated by Education Through Cashback, and SEE Consultants. Ambassadors were recruited from Scottish Sports Futures’ Shell Twilight Basketball groups from Highlands, Fife, Stirling, Glasgow, North Ayrshire and Stranraer. Over the next year, ambassadors will be supported by local mentors, who will support them with their individual journeys of personal development, as they work towards their goals and grow as positive role models within their Shell Twilight sessions and their wider communities. They will also complete Community Achievement Awards, administered by Glasgow’s Kelvin College, which allow Ambassadors to receive SCQF accredited recognition for their hard work.

The Shell Twilight Basketball programme itself is designed to be an open, inclusive and positive environment for young people where personal development is supported through structured sports activity, educational inputs, role modelling, and peer rapport. The setting and programme of activity provide young people with the opportunity to develop skills, confidence and a sense of acceptance that they may struggle to find in more traditional settings. Twilight has a long track record of attracting excluded young people and supporting them into positive destinations. The Ambassador programme builds on this experience and provides a further level of support and direction with enhanced development opportunities for a focused group of young people. Through this process, the selected group makes significant progress in their personal development journeys while becoming influential positive role models within their Twilight session and local community.

This is the third year that the Ambassador programme has run nationally since it was piloted in Glasgow in 2015. Kilgraston School in Perth have hosted the induction residential for the past three years, where fantastic facilities and friendly staff have aided the success of the weekend. The FREE programme is supported by BBC Children in Need and the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities. It runs alongside Shell Twilight’s diversionary Friday night basketball sessions and aims to support young people to identify and work towards personal goals, including getting into volunteering, education and employment.

BBC Children in Need’s National Officer for Scotland, Paul Liddell commented on the initiative, “I am delighted to see that a further 31 young ambassadors have joined the programme.  Since receiving funding for the programme from BBC Children in Need, the project has grown and developed and this is a fine example of how it is progressing.”

Speaking of the new grants, Florence Burke, National Head of BBC Children in Need in Scotland, said: “BBC Children in Need is funding a number of projects across every local authority in Scotland – all of which are working to make a real and tangible difference to the lives of those children and young people who need it most.  We are delighted to include Shell Twilight Basketball among them, and are pleased to see that a further 31 young ambassadors will benefit from the training and life skills development to reach their full potential. Best of all, they will have the chance to make new friends, and receive support from positive adult role models.”

Ambassador Duncan, 17 reflected on the weekend, “I got to meet lots of new people and make lots of new friends, and it’s nice to see everyone’s different types of background and coaching styles.”

Amanda, 18 added, “I enjoyed getting to know the other ambassadors and getting to learn more basketball drills to bring back to the sessions and coach. I’m excited to see what opportunities [the programme] leads to; it will let us grow as individuals as well as team players.”

Duncan and Amanda, along with the other 29 young people attending the weekend, join a further 25 Ambassadors recruited in the first year of the programme. Building on the success of this first year, Shell Twilight Basketball plan to grow the programme, inducting a further 30 Ambassadors this year, maximising the benefit for young people and communities across Scotland.

Shell Twilight Basketball runs mainly on Friday nights across Scotland. It is FREE to attend and open to all young people aged 11-21 years old. Please see www.ssf.org.uk for more information or contact martyn@ssf.org.uk 

 

                           Shell Twilight Basketball Ambassadors 2018

Ambassador’s Duncan Watson and Chloe Canning leading one of the                weekend’s sessions

 

Children in Need

BBC Children in Need’s vision is that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential. The charity will realise this vision by supporting, promoting and publicising work that addresses the challenges that children and young people face and work that builds their skills and resilience.

BBC Children in Need is currently providing grants to 300 projects across every local authority in Scotland and 2,600 projects across the UK that are helping children and young people facing a range of disadvantages such as living in poverty, being disabled or ill, or experiencing distress, neglect or trauma.

More information about BBC Children in Need can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/Pudsey

CashBack for Communities

The Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme uses the ill-gotten gains of crime, recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and invests them back into communities across Scotland.

More information can be found at www.scotland.gov.uk/cashback 

 

 

Shell Twilight Ambassador Residential 2018

An Ambassador’s eye view of this year’s Shell Twilight Ambassador Residential.

This time last year I was sitting in the same room as the Ambassadors are right now, arriving at Kilgrastion to complete the ambassador training weekend.

But this year was different for me.

I came back, but for the mentoring role. I’m super excited to take on this role and see what opportunities this will give me.

I have to admit I was a little worried about going on the residential this year. The thought of taking on a more  responsible role was scary, but if the Shell Twilight Basketball staff didn’t think I was ready for it they wouldn’t have asked me.

This weekend was a lot of fun as I had the opportunity to create more friendships with the other mentors and this year’s Ambassadors, and I managed to develop my own skills on this weekend more than what I thought I would. Looking back on last year, I never thought that I wold be doing something like this.

I honestly would say that it’s down to my own mentor from last year being a great role model for me and I hope to be just the same for my Ambassadors this year. I hope if I show my Ambassadors a good role model example they can then become a great role model for the other boys at our session.

 

By Bryanne Ford, Shell Twilight Ambassador. 

For more information on our Shell Twilight Basketball programme click here

 

Kirkton Collect Spirit of the Tournament Award at Shell Twilight Basketball National Tournament 2018

Press Release

On Saturday 24th March Shell Twilight Basketball hosted its 10th National Tournament at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell which was a great showcase for the programme. The event featured around 150 young people from; Dundee, the Highlands, North Ayrshire, Stranraer and Glasgow. The event also included a girl’s category alongside existing under 14, under 16 and under 21 categories. The aim of which was to promote female participation in sport and physical activity.

 

This was the first appearance for Dundee’s Kirkton Twilight session after the programme launching late September last year. The group performed extremely well, especially considering they only had six players. The team got off to a great start winning their first two games with some thrilling basketball skills on display. Fatigue unfortunately took its toll into the third and fourth game which saw them narrowly miss out on a slot in the finals! However, the group performed admirably and were without a doubt the best competitors on the day. As a result, The Kirkton team were awarded ‘Spirit of the Tournament’. This trophy is Shell Twilight Basketballs most prestigious award and is presented to the team who’s attitude best encapsulates the ethos and sportsmanship we aim to encourage throughout our programmes across Scotland.

 

Title Sponsor Shell have recently renewed their 3 year sponsorship of the programme. Their Communications & Social Performance Advisor, John Raine commented on the initiative “Shell Twilight Basketball is an exciting initiative that is making a real contribution to social inclusion by giving young people the opportunity to make a number of positive choices for their futures while having fun and learning vital skills. We are delighted to be able to continue to work with Scottish Sports Futures, the Scottish Government and The Glasgow Rocks in delivering this programme”.

 

SSF Programme Manager Sean Brady said, “Shell’s continued support of the programme will allow us to develop and deliver the initiative in new communities across Scotland. Our aim is to embed sessions in communities and ensure there is a lasting legacy of local staff and young people to deliver the programme beyond our initial investment”

 

The young people are at the very heart of all SSF programmes and were crucial to the success of this year’s tournament. The Shell Twilight Basketball Ambassador programme, funded by BBC Children in Need, offers young people motivation and support to take on leadership roles, become positive role models to their peers, and volunteer in their local communities. A variety of roles including coaches, referees and table officials were taken on by ambassadors throughout the tournament. The girls’ category was also planned and implemented by a team of passionate and dedicated volunteers. Due to the opportunities and training the programme provides, young people are now taking leadership roles at their sessions to further support the transition to fully sustainable activity.

 

A young person who supported the tournament as a volunteer commented “It was great to help out and an unforgettable experience”

 

Three young people from the Kirkton session will start their ambassador journey this April at the induction residential followed by a year of tailored training to help them take more of a leadership role within their session and give back to their local community.

 

Educational workshops were scheduled into the event to provide the young people with important information on topics including; healthy relationships, cybercrime, organised crime, resilience and being a good team player. The workshops provided a great opportunity for young people to learn and integrate with others with similar interests from different areas in Scotland. The delivery staff were amazing and engaged their audience throughout the day. Police Scotland and Sexpression came in specially to offer professional advice on organised crime and healthy relationships.

 

Comedian, and former basketball player, Chris Forbes, who is also an ambassador for Scottish Sports Futures, dropped in to see the Twilight players, and hand out the winner’s trophies. He said:

The twilight basketball tournament was incredible. To see so many young people from all over the country taking part was brilliant. All the hard work and dedication from the organisers and volunteers was equally inspiring. So many great people coming together to make opportunities like this a reality is what it’s all about. You could tell everyone was having a great time; laughing, socialising, competing and there was a lot of great basketball on show too!

 

As well as title Sponsors Shell the programme is also supported by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities scheme, North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drugs Partnership & BBC Children In Need.  The Kirkton session in Dundee runs every Friday night from 8 – 10pm at the Kirkton Community Centre and aims to keep young people off the streets, get them active and through the unique educational time out system, help them make positive lifestyle decisions away from drugs, alcohol and smoking. Shell Twilight Basketball is delivered by qualified coaches and youth workers who provide a variety of content suitable to the participants

   

Please see www.ssf.org.uk for more information or contact martyn@ssf.org.uk.

 

 

Notes for Editors:

  • Photo info – All participants from every session involved at the Shell Twilight Basketball National Tournament 2018

 

Shell Twilight Basketball

  • Basketball is the main engagement tool in this programme – the activity is inclusive, played and watched by males and females in equal proportion
  • Basketball is a first choice sport for many young refugee and asylum seekers and Scottish Sports Futures benefits from a unique partnership with the Glasgow Rocks professional basketball team, allowing access to professional role models and inspirational athletes.
  • Shell Twilight Basketball locations:

Dundee, Glasgow, Stirling, Aberdeen, Nairn, Aviemore, Dingwall, Fife, Stranraer, Inverness and North Ayrshire.

CashBack for Communities

  • The Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme uses the ill-gotten gains of crime, recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and invests them back into communities across Scotland.
  • More information can be found at www.scotland.gov.uk/cashback

Scottish Sports Futures (SSF)

  • Scottish Sports Futures programmes use the power of sport to inspire young people to make positive lifestyle choices.
  • See website for more information – http://scottishsportsfutures.org.uk/

Contact:

Martyn Horsfield, Senior Programme Coordinator call: 0141 218 4640

 

For more information see website: www.scottishsportsfutures.org.uk

Shell Twilight Basketball at the PEAK of Success at National Tournament 2017

On Saturday 4th of November, 170 young people from all across Scotland attended the Peak in Stirling for a thrilling day of competition and fun on and off the basketball court. All 20 teams demonstrated exhilarating basketball on display right to the end. Scottish Sports Futures’ Shell Twilight Basketball groups from Fife, Stirling and Glasgow comprised the ‘National Tournament 2017’.

 

For the second year, a girl’s category was added to the annual tournament alongside existing under 14, under 18 and under 21 categories. The aim of this was to promote female participation in sport and physical activity. The category was made a spectacle of during the day and was hugely appreciated by everyone in attendance. Four teams were entered and each game was incredible to watch.

 

 

This is the seventh time the tournament has run as additional activity to the normal evening diversionary sessions and the second time the event has been hosted in Stirling. It is also the first event to run as part of our new tournament strategy which encompasses all of our Shell Twilight Basketball programmes across Scotland. A lot of work has gone into creating a long lasting impact by embedding our sessions into the communities we engage with. Tournaments are a huge part of the programme and will still be offered to sessions who have gone through the process of becoming community led sessions.

 

 

 

The FREE programme is supported by Title Sponsors, Shell, the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities and North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drugs Partnership. It runs on Friday nights and aims to keep young people off the streets, get them active and through the unique educational time out system, help them make positive lifestyle decisions away from drugs, alcohol and smoking. Shell Twilight Basketball is delivered by qualified coaches and youth workers who provide a variety of content suitable to the participants.

 

Shell Communications & Social Performance Advisor, John Raine commented on the initiative “Shell Twilight Basketball is an exciting initiative that is making a real contribution to social inclusion by giving young people the opportunity to make a number of positive choices for their futures while having fun and learning vital skills. We are delighted to be able to continue to work with Scottish Sports Futures, the Scottish Government and The Glasgow Rocks in delivering this programme”.

 

The young people are at the very heart of all SSF programmes and were crucial to the success of this year’s tournament. The Shell Twilight Basketball Ambassador programme, funded by BBC Children in Need, offers young people motivation and support to take on leadership roles, become positive role models to their peers, and volunteer in their local communities. A variety of roles including coaches, referees and table officials were taken on by ambassadors throughout the tournament. The girls’ category was also planned and implemented by a team of passionate and dedicated volunteers. Due to the opportunities and training the programme provides, young people are now taking leadership roles at their sessions to further support the transition to fully sustainable activity.  

 A young person who attended the tournament commented, “The tournament is a great chance to play with a variety of people. It’s a friendly atmosphere and everyone supports each other, it’s good to see the girls only section and the staff at Twilight sessions are what make them so great!”

 

Educational workshops were scheduled into the event to provide the young people with important information on topics including; healthy relationships, cybercrime, organised crime, resilience and being a good team player. The workshops provided a great opportunity for young people to learn and integrate with others with similar interests from different areas in Scotland. The delivery staff were amazing and engaged their audience throughout the day. Police Scotland and Sexpression came in specially to offer professional advice on organised crime and healthy relationships.

 

Scottish Sports Futures programmes Education through Cashback, Jump2It and Active East also had a large role in delivering workshops including a very popular Active East activity zone. This was delivered by young volunteers from the east end of Glasgow to provide fun activities during breaks in the schedule.

 

The Jump2It – Education and Development Coordinator, Alan Hendry commented, “It was such a fantastic day to see young people competing in the national tournament displaying the true spirit of sport.  It worked on all levels with their eagerness and appetite to also engage and learn through the educational work-shops.  Without doubt, it was a pleasure to see young players fully embracing the importance of the educational inputs and leading healthy lives.”

   

Shell Twilight Basketball runs mainly on Friday nights across Scotland. It is FREE to attend and open to all young people aged 11-21 years old. Please see www.ssf.org.uk for more information or contact martyn@ssf.org.uk.

Shell Twilight Basketball Launches in Dundee

                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) has launched a new Shell Twilight Basketball programme at Kirkton Community Centre in Dundee.

 

More than 25 young people attended the official launch night and had the opportunity to meet Glasgow Rocks professional players, Nestor Lasuncion and Kofi Josephs who shared their life experiences and led some professional training drills.

 

The programme offers young people the opportunity to take part in free basketball sessions every Friday night, from 8-10pm, with the aim of keeping them off the streets and active, as well as encouraging them to make positive lifestyle decisions away from drugs, alcohol and smoking.   Funding is provided through Cashback for Communities, a Scottish Government initiative which reinvests the misappropriated gains of crime.

 

Darren Smith from Community Policing who attended the launch said: “This programme provides a good diversionary opportunity, there isn’t much for young people in the area and this type of initiative will definitely be beneficial. It’s a fantastic opportunity for young people to make friends while directing them away from offending”.

 

Over 250 young people attend FREE Shell Twilight programmes across Scotland.  As well as promoting teamwork activities, goal-setting and confidence-building, young people are also supported into training, volunteering and employment.  Shell Twilight Basketball is delivered by qualified local coaches and youth workers who also provide weekly educational inputs.

 

Every session contains high energy basketball coaching, designed to ensure that first and foremost the participants enjoy their time and have a positive experience of physical activity, and they don’t need any experience of the sport to come along. The focus is very much on fun and young people having something positive to do on a Friday night.

 

SSF Programme Manager Sean Brady said: “We are delighted to be able to bring Shell Twilight Basketball session to Dundee as part of our latest round of funding. As well as the weekly sessions our focus will be working closely with local partners to ensure the longer term sustainability of the session and ensuring local volunteers are well equipped to support this.”

 

SSF will work with a range of partners to ensure the programme benefits as many young people as possible including, Active Schools, Dundee City Council, Kirkton Community Safety Partnership, Basketball Scotland, Police Scotland and Glasgow Rocks.

 

Shell Twilight Basketball is supported by title sponsors Shell and the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities, which takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them into free activities and programmes for young people across Scotland.

 

Shell Twilight Basketball runs at Kirkton Community Centre every Friday between 8-10pm. It is FREE to attend and open to all young people aged 11-21.  Please see www.ssf.org.uk for more information or contact martyn@ssf.org.uk.

 

 

Shell Twilight Basketball – Significant Investment in Coaching Helps Deliver Scottish Wide Diversionary Sports Programme

                          

To truly change the lives of young people in Scotland through the power of sport investment in delivery staff is crucial. Staff and volunteers from across Scotland recently gathered on the shores of Loch Lomond for Shell Twilight Basketball’s annual training weekend. Ardoch Estate, with its stunning views over the loch, provided the perfect setting for the group of 20 coaches and youth workers to meet others delivering the Scottish Sports Futures’ programme and complete valuable training. The weekend was made possible with generous funding from The Ardoch Foundation, and the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities.

The annual weekend is a key event in supporting staff and volunteers to understand how to maximise their impact and influence on the young people that they work with on a weekly basis at their Shell Twilight Basketball sessions. The group, who are all relatively new to the programme, took part in sessions to gain understanding and confidence in their role making the weekly Friday night sessions welcoming and inclusive for young people. In attendance were 20 coaches and youth workers, representing Shell Twilight locations in the Highlands, Aberdeen, Fife, Dundee, Stirling, Glasgow, North Ayrshire and Stranraer.

Programme Manager Sean Brady commented: “Investment in training & support for our staff is a major priority for us. They are on the ground delivering the programme and are the key to its success. We want to ensure staff are prepared and confident to support the needs of young people across Scotland through our sessions.”

Participants also completed Education Through Cashback (ETC) modules in Working With Young People in Sport, Communication, and Conflict Resolution. ETC, another SSF initiative, supports those delivering sport and physical activity to young people across Scotland. Thanks to a partnership with Glasgow Kelvin College, these ETC modules now sit on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), allowing learners to gain formal accreditation for their participation in the workshops. The Shell Twilight staff were some of the first participants to complete the newly SCQF-accredited versions of the ETC modules.

One volunteer coach commented; “The weekend has been really useful to take the skills learned from the range of modules back to not only my Twilight session but my other work in the community”

The Shell Twilight Basketball programme itself is designed to be an open, inclusive and positive environment for young people, where personal development is supported through structured sports activity, educational inputs, role modelling, and peer rapport. The setting and programme of activity provide young people with the opportunity to develop skills, confidence and a sense of acceptance that they may struggle to find in more traditional settings. Twilight has a long track record of attracting excluded young people and supporting them into positive destinations.

Following the weekend, not only are the group more confident in their roles, it is clear they are passionate about making a difference in young people’s lives, and excited to take what they have learned back to their Shell Twilight Basketball sessions.

Shell Twilight Basketball runs mainly on Friday nights across Scotland. It is FREE to attend and open to all young people aged 11-21 years old. Please see www.ssf.org.uk for more information or contact martyn@ssf.org.uk

Callum Campbell-11 months with SSF

During my time with SSF I have had the opportunity to do loads of great stuff including:

Helping fare with the legacy games training. I got the opportunity to go out to 5 different primary schools and deliver training on activities like the long jump and the relay race. On the day of the actual event there was over 1000 young people there the event took place in the emirates and had schools from all over Glasgow taking part. The event was a success and I look forward to helping again at it next year.

I have also been helping coach at Sports tots on a Friday at Crown Point with Budhill Football Club. I have been enjoying it and am currently still doing it from 11 until 12 each week. Billy takes the football side of it and I take the basketball side and get the young people used to basic skills like catching and bouncing a ball.

Before the summer holidays I was also doing a Rocks Community Club (RCC) at the YMCA for Jump2it which was a basketball session for children with learning difficulties I taught them the basics of basketball and then let them play games this session went really well and everyone taking part enjoyed themselves and was interested in learning as much as possible about basketball.

I successfully applied for college and start on the 28th of August to do an NC games and sports course. This is a yearlong course and I hope to move on to the next level after I complete my first year at college. During my year at college I have to go out on work experience for a week and I want to come back to SSF to do my work experience as I will know my in and outs of the organisation.

I have learned a lot during my time with SSF and continue to learn more every day and it has helped me realise that I hope to gain a full time job doing something similar. I will get my qualifications then apply for similar jobs to the role I had at SSF.

Comedy Club to raise funds for SSF

Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) is having a charity fundraiser at The Stand Comedy Club on Wednesday, 28th June 2017 to raise money to support the work we do with over 10,000 disadvantaged young people across Scotland annually.

Join us and share a few laughs during the week and help us raise lots of cash for a good cause!

The Stand Comedy Club has been around for many years and is an intimate venue located in the West End of Glasgow which has seen many famous comedians grace its doors over the years including Kevin Bridges, Frankie Boyle, Fred Macaulay and lots more!

Confirmed acts include:-

Headline Act – Chris Forbes from BBC Scotland ‘Scot Squad’

Stuart Mitchell

Kirsty Morrison

Joseph Goss

Billy Kirkwood

There will be a raffle on the night and there is a full cash bar on-site!

Tickets can be purchased on eventbrite for £8 plus £1.04 booking fee per ticketclick here

You can also reserve tickets by calling The Stand 0141 212 3389 and are £8 payable cash on the door.

Sign-up to bring young people to a fun filled Sport4all event!

FREE ACTIVITIES, FREE LUNCH and PRIZES.

 

We are inviting families, organisations and groups across Glasgow to bring  young people along to a fun filled active event for all.

On Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July SSF – Active East will be hosting a weekend of sport, physical activity and play opportunities delivered by partners for young people in the North East of Glasgow, taking place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre!

“sport for all” means making sport accessible to all members of our communities, as a vehicle for integration, empowerment and well-being. It engages everyone to move, play and compete together with people from different backgrounds, ages & abilities. This event will:

 

  • Be FREE
  • Be fun and exciting
  • Link young people across the East of Glasgow with local opportunities to be active
  • Include an exciting interactive marketplace for families and young people to find out local opportunities
  • Have an under 8’s drop-in Zone
  • Taster sessions for young people aged 8+ including: Boxing, Active play, Gymnastics, Athletics, Judo, Cricket, Basketball and much more!
  • A pool party – at Tollcross after our event on the Sunday 4 – 6pm (please note groups/parents will then be responsible for supervising young people)

Sign up now!

  • Families, organisations and groups are invited to bring along young people aged 8+ on the Saturday and on the Sunday for the full day (9:30-4pm) for the taster sessions
  • Spaces for the full day of taster sessions are allocated on a first come first serve basis
  • Sport4All – Booking Form – please complete this and send over as soon as possible to secure your spaces by Thursday 20th July
  • There will be fun activities for under 8’s who come along to get involved, this is on a drop in basis between 10-12pm and 13:00 and 15.15pm each day

If you have any questions about the event please get in touch at colin@ssf.org.uk or call 0141 218 4640

 

Changing Lives Through Sport – Shell Twilight Basketball

Adam came along to the very first session we had on the 5th September 2014, he was a quiet young teenager who was accompanied by his older brother.  As Adam continued coming weekly he began to develop into a not so quiet boy; he was excessive in his use of expletives and disregard for the coaches.  He would often comment on decisions and drills as well as get involved in disputes that he was not part of, just to start trouble.

After one specific incident, Adam was asked to leave the session. When he returned, Adam was open and apologised to the coach he argued with, explaining that he was having a difficult time at home, but he didn’t want to discuss this further.  Adam again had an issue with the session when he turned up to the session after taking drugs, he was asked to leave and the police were contacted for advice by the coaches who were on the session. Adam continued to not listen or engage with coaches or show respect at the session to participants or youth workers. The next week Adam returned and took part in a quickly organised Educational Timeout (ETO) on drugs and safety.  Adam took this seriously as he was surprised by some of the facts and figures that were shown as well as some of the experience that the coaches had from their employment outside of Twilight.  This seemed to be a turning point for Adam and he became more open about home life and the things that he was feeling.

Over the next year Adam became a staple to the group, someone who was always in attendance and also someone the new, younger participants looked up to.  His younger brother started to attend and it was easy to see the admiration the boys showed for one and other, due to the age they had 30 mins cross over time with sessions that they loved.  It was this that showed Adam’s gentler side, the side that would develop into who he is now as a man.

Adam began approaching me in the sessions and asking to speak to me about his life outside of basketball.  We discussed his home life, how to be safe, keeping a mentality that is focused and sign posting places to go for additional specified support.  Adam shared that he has been self-harming to cope with the stress of home life, to this I offered guidance and support on being safe and the danger points and areas of self-harming but also that there are people who know a lot more than I do and perhaps he should visit a drop in for advice or his GP. Adam took the advice on board and continued sharing by letting me know that he has moved out of his house because he was struggling to live with his Mum and step dad, their relationship was straining on his own with his Mum.

After a few weeks , Adam came to tell me he has now got furniture for his flat as well as doing some shopping, he was struggling to eat but was standing on his own two feet and this was allowing him time to see his family. His relationship with his Mum was improving and he was starting to see a light in what had been a very dark and lonely place for him.  I expressed my regard for him that he had developed so much from a teenager ready to fight for nothing to a man willing to stand up to what he saw as important and the ability to do this whilst maintaining his mischievous grin!!!  Adam seemed quiet at my praise and shy at the fact that I had seen him grow, though it was clear to see he liked the fact that I noticed how much he’d grown.

“Shell Twilight Basketball has been a family to me; It is the only place I can go to release all my stress and hardships. As soon as I step foot on the court all my worries fade. Andrew, as well as all the coaches at my session, have helped me through all my crisis. I am greatly thankful to all the people that made Twilight happen, and to all the coaches and people that attend”

– Adam Wilson

It overwhelmed me and changed my whole concept on the impact we have on these kids and young people who attend the session, we are not there to simply coach a sport. We are there as a shoulder to lean on, to offer knowledge and support, to be a role model and most times to simply listen and praise the smallest efforts.  To someone who doesn’t hear it often, nothing will make you stand taller than when you hear it from someone you look up to.

Adam is now volunteering at the session and has been accepted into the Army after going through the interview process.

PROUD!!!!!

  • Andrew McCandlish, Coach at the Stranraer Shell Twilight Session
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