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 firstname.lastname@example.org