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How ETC is Changing Lives Through Sport

We’ve spent the past month talking about changing lives through sport, and our Education Through Cashback (ETC) programme, combining youth work and sport to enhance knowledge of the ‘Sport for Change’ approach, is a way you can get involved and use sport to change lives. 

The practical, interactive modules develop an understanding of working with young people and encourage personal development through sport. Training is flexible and adapted to suit the needs of the group. The modules are SCQF accredited, giving participants a tangible qualification recognising their work. 

ETC is suitable for:
Experienced youth workers, coaches, volunteers and other practitioners looking to increase their knowledge of delivering sport for change programmes and understanding of the developmental value of sport and physical activity. 

Young leaders who are newer to coaching and looking to develop their skills and confidence in delivering activities effectively to a range of young people.

Young people experiencing a challenge, eg at risk of exclusion, low-attainment, who wish to develop skills that can be transferred into everyday life, through participation in practical sessions adapted to their needs. 


Victoria Clark, one of our lead tutor team, talks about her year with ETC.

I’ve loved learning from all of the young people I’ve worked with through my 2018-19 ETC journey. I am one of the Lead Tutor team with the ETC programme and facilitate a range of workshops with clients. 

Working in partnership with the young people. enabling them to explore, to find their own answers, to apply and problem solve through practical sessions has been key.  I take an individual approach to each workshop while ensuring the young people  meet the outcomes required of the qualification. It has to be this way, to truly put the young people at the centre of what we do, and to engage them on their personal journeys.  This requires a flexible and creative approach over time that is built upon trust.  This can come with challenges, trusting in the young people and the process enables success. You can see the ongoing development of each person. Sometimes this means a young person has the confidence to speak in front of their peers for the first time , they make friends with someone they’ve not met before, others led warm ups, full sessions, join clubs, gain places in college or university, or volunteer for hours every week to give back. 

Travelling throughout Scotland to offer local opportunities, courses have been delivered as far as Dingwall, Elgin, and Stranraer and many places in between. I love the opportunity to explore Scotland. 


I’ve shared some of  the projects I’ve been involved with throughout 2018-19 below. I’ve been one person working, amongst many within each project, empowering young people through sport and physical activity.


Chance 2 Be 

Arriving at an Active East workshop one evening, one of the participants headed over to meet me, she had been part of a previous Chance 2 Be programme.  Opening the door and grabbing my bags she walked me up to the workshop room.  She chatted the whole way up the stairs telling me stories of the volunteering she is now involved with (every night of the week, some of which includes 2 buses just to get there), and her successful college application. This has been one of my highlights of the year. Seeing the journey of this girl from day 1 of the Chance 2 Be programme to where she is now.  It’s also been great to see some of participants from Chance 2 Be 1 now coming along to support the delivery of the 4th project. Throughout Chance 2 Be, the participants were given the opportunity to participate in a range of ETC workshops. 


Scottish Disability Sport Young Start Apprentices. 

I’m one of a team of mentors at Scottish Disability Sport empowering young people with learning, sensory and physical disabilities to achieve their coaching and leadership goals. Bringing both programmes together enabled some of the young people involved in this programme to gain SCQF accredited ETC qualifications. It was great to see everyone supporting one another as they delivered their sessions as part of the communication workshop. Learning balloon modelling and some sign language were definite highlights from the weekend that we are still talking about. 


Glasgow Fever Basketball Club

Glasgow Fever: Where People Make the Game. The club took a group of U16 Girls on a residential experience. The girls focused on developing their basketball and personal skills. The ETC Planning and Goal Setting workshops were integrated throughout the weekend. The course content was broken down over the weekend, enabling messaging to be built upon at key moments.  The team work shown by the girls helping one another to achieve was excellent. They all left having achieved a range of  qualifications through sport. 


Scottish Swimming Young Event Co-ordinators 

The buzz at the Royal Commonwealth Pool on the morning of the session really drew you in. It was great to be working with the newly recruited Young Event Co-ordinators right at the heart of the event. The meeting room where the ETC Planning Sport and Physical Activity programme workshop was being held looked directly onto the pool where all the action was taking place. I’m looking forward to seeing how these young people develop through this pilot programme. 


SFA Volunteer Inspire Project and Shell Twilight Basketball 

A Fort William girl, I love working in the Highlands so I grabbed the opportunity to work in Inverness, Dingwall and Nairn (a favourite spot from my childhood). These projects also took me to Elgin, Dundee, Stranraer and Cumbernauld. These Friday night projects offered young people to chance to gain ETC SCQF qualifications through the sport they love. 


ETC: Changing Lives Through Sport. Bring on 19/20!


For more information or to book a course contact Martyn on 0141 218 4640 or email

Active East Gives Young People the Chance to Change Lives


By Demi Mitchell, Active East Youth Worker


The Active East programme within SSF works with over 40 youth and sport organisations within the East End of Glasgow encouraging and supporting partnership working. Active East aims to provide young people with volunteering opportunities, mentoring, qualifications and personal development through sport, physical activity and youth work.

Chance:2:Be is our personal development programme which aims to help young people who have an interest in sport and physical activity and want to gain more qualifications, building confidence and gain support to help them reach a positive destination. Throughout this programme it has been changing young peoples lives through sport since last April. This week we seen our most recent Chance:2:Be participants complete the 12 week programme and celebrated all their hard work and achievements at our celebration event where each young person received their certificates of the qualifications they gained during the course of the 12 weeks!


Throughout the 12 weeks it has been a privilege to see these young people develop into more confident individuals, and at the celebration event the young people were able to stand up in front of a crowd and chat about their journey with Active East. The young people have now gained seven extra qualifications that they have all worked hard for and we use sport and physical activity as our hook to ensure they achieve this. One of the participants during first aid training was doing CPR and expressed

“If you told me at the start of this programme I would be doing CPR I would never have believed you”

The programme has helped young people gain experience, move onto college courses, gain jobs and learn how to believe in their ability all through sport and physical activity proving that all the work that SSF to is truly changing lives through sport!

Jump2it Use Education to Change Lives Through Sport


By Alan Hendry, Jump2it Schools and Education Development Coordinator


As a charity, Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) has a long-standing history of utilising the power of sport and physical activity to create innovative initiatives in which sport and youth work elements are intentionally used to bring about positive benefits for at-risk individuals and communities across Scotland. The impact of these programmes go well beyond simply improving participation in sport, towards developing areas such as community integration, physical and mental well-being and self-efficacy. At SSF we are aware that sport has a specific ability to transcend cultural and social barriers, providing a tool for engagement which is unparalleled in its ability to reach the most difficult to reach and at-risk groups.

For 19 years SSF have combined elements of sport and youth work in an attempt to create impactful programmes to support young people to reach their full potential, make positive lifestyle decisions and change their own lives for the better. During this time, SSF has built on the collaborative work with many regional and national partners with the main focus of using sport to provide opportunities to educate, and equip young people with the relevant knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to reach their own positive destinations. The collaborative work around this specific focus has brought SSF into the space which is now nationally recognised as ‘SportForChange’.

Within the Jump2it programme, we work very closely with the Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks to deliver educational content within primary schools across various local authority areas. The Glasgow Rocks players are used as professional sporting role models in an attempt to engage with children in a way in which cannot be achieved by a teacher or education professional. Using the power of sport and professional sporting athletes as the ‘hook’ to engage with children has proven to be particularly effective in delivering key educational messages. This has also proven to be effective in terms of information retention and attitudinal/behavioural change within young people which the programme is targeted towards.

Many young people have highlighted the influence of the Glasgow Rocks players on their own lifestyle changes, with many young people reporting that their behaviours are changing towards a healthier and more active lifestyle as a direct result of the input from the Glasgow Rocks players. One participant has stated:

The Rocks taught us about knife crime, alcohol, getting sleep and health and well-being. I eat healthier now. I eat a lot of fruit, more than five a day now”.

Another participant added:

I like basketball a lot more now since the Rocks players came and spoke to us. I am a lot more active than I was before.

In addition, with the well-established network of SSF programmes and partner organisations, we are also able to offer young people various pathways into continued and sustained positive physical activity long after the conclusion of the Jump2it programme.

The power of sport simply cannot be underestimated. With the ability to change the lives of young people and entire communities in a way in which very few activities can, sport should be considered as a key tool for community engagement.




Shining a Light on Mental Health

 By Shell Twilight Basketball staff and participants

Amanda Hiddleston is 1 of 20 Scottish Sports Futures’ Wellbeing Ambassadors who helped to plan and deliver a mental health and wellbeing themed basketball tournament at Oriam in Edinburgh on Sunday 7th April.

The event saw over 250 young people come together from Shell Twilight Basketball sessions across Scotland as far afield as Dingwall and Stranraer.

Amanda tells us about her thoughts from the event:

The tournament on Sunday was a great opportunity to let other young people know how much sport and physical activity can play a massive role in helping improve mental health and wellbeing.

In my role as a Wellbeing Ambassador and as a member of the steering group for the event I was excited to be part of the planning process and see things develop from our initial meetings and from our residential in March where along with 20 other Wellbeing Ambassadors we developed mental health and wellbeing workshops and ideas for the event.

It was amazing to see our plans come to life! On the day I delivered workshops on the topics of stress, pressure and social connection which all allowed young people to come and have fun in an interactive workshop whilst learning about the topics and taking away the message that sport can have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.

The tournament was just an amazing fun filled day which challenged me to grow in confidence and step outside my own comfort zone. It was so rewarding and encouraging to see the young people who attended grasping the theme of the event, having fun and taking away the message that sport and physical activity can have positively impact mental health and wellbeing.


The Shining a Light on Mental Health tournament was made possible through funding from The National Lottery Heritage fund as part of Year of Young People 2018, The Changing Lives Through Sport (read more about it here) and Physical Activity Fund as well the Scottish Governments Cashback for Communities fund.  

Active East’s Highland Hostelling Adventure

 By Alistair Neil, Active East Youth Development Coordinator

At Active East we are incredibly lucky to have amazing funders and partners who support and believe in the work we are doing and help us give the best experiences for the young people we work with!

One recent example of this is through funding we recently received from the Hostelling Scotland Explorer Fund. This allowed us to take a group of young volunteers to Oban for the weekend. Active East work in partnership with lots of youth and sport organisations throughout the East End of Glasgow and support young people to volunteer, gain training, accreditation for their volunteering and help at local and large scale events.

Receiving funding from our various funders, partners and sponsors allows us to take young people away, gain new experiences and learning new skills. This Residential was a great opportunity to do just that!

We stayed in Oban Youth Hostel from Friday 22nd March – Sunday 24th March, giving many of our young people the chance to experience staying in a hostel for the first time, as well as visiting a new part of Scotland. The hostel provided our meals for the weekend and also a great space to do team building activities, planning for 2019, and for our young people to get to know each other better in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by friends.

On the Saturday we were able to explore Oban and see the sights! We had a roller disco and went bouldering at Atlantis Sports centre, and saw the amazing view from the top of McCraigs Tower. The afternoon was topped off by watching a game of Shinty! We then returned to the hostel for dinner after a walk through Oban’s town centre.

We then spent another night doing more games and hearing the Active Champions’ ideas for 2019 before heading home on the Sunday.

This funding gave us a great opportunity to take away a group of young people away and give them time to relax, bond, experience a new place and plan what they want their volunteering to look like in 2019.

One Active Champion said “The weekend was amazing! I really enjoyed walking around Oban and being able to just chill as a team. My highlight was going to McCaigs Tower and playing games together, the walk was really funny”.


We couldn’t provide any of these amazing experiences without the help of our partners, funders, and sponsors. So if you want to work in partnership with SSF, or help us fundraise so we can continue our work, contact our development manager Emma Reid on 0141 218 4640 or

Case Study – Lochgelly

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.

Vacancy – ETC Programme Manager

The Role

Education Through CashBack (ETC) is a national Scottish Sports Futures programme; developed in partnership with Youth Scotland, that aims to enhance sports coaches, youth workers and volunteers understanding of personal development through sport. 6 of the ETC modules are now SCQF accredited at levels 4 (Communication) and 5 (Working with Young People, Benefits of Physical Activity, Human Connection, Goal Setting and Conflict Resolution)

The ETC Programme Manager will undertake the organisation, marketing, development, quality control, and evaluation of this programme of training.

Scottish Sports Futures, in carrying out its functions as a “sport for change” charity delivering programmes to young people across Scotland, is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all, and to ensuring that no individual is discriminated against in the planning and delivery of any activities.

For all post information please see goodmoves:

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Sarah Furniss on 0141 218 4640 or, for information on the programme please see


PDT Administration

The People’s Development Trust at the Legacy Hub on Friday afternoon went into administration, causing the building to close to the public.

We at Scottish Sports Futures will continue to be based at the hub for the near future operating as close to business as usual as possible. Its deeply regrettable this has happened as we believe in the ethos of the community facility and we are especially saddened that so many had to suddenly lose jobs.

We will keep our partners, funders and most importantly young people updated with our own place of business.

For any queries please contact Kirsty McNab SSF CEO – or call 07758884691

SSF have a new CEO

SSF team with Minister for Sport Joe Fitzpatrick

Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) has appointed a new CEO and three new Non-Executive Directors to its Board.

Formerly Head of Operations with the  charity, Kirsty McNab steps up to become the new Chief Executive Officer.  Kirsty, from Glasgow, has been with SSF for six years and has been instrumental in growing the charity’s sports based services for disadvantaged young people across Scotland.

A Graduate of Strathclyde University in Sport in the Community, Kirsty has been involved in youth development throughout her career and held posts with Badminton Scotland and Youth Scotland.

Kirsty said, “I am delighted to be leading our charity at such an exciting time. I believe that sport can change lives and am proud of how we demonstrate this at Scottish Sports Futures.

“We have a fabulous Board which will be further enhanced by our new appointments and I very much look forward to working together, creating a new strategy and building upon our success. We are very much a youth led organisation and I will be working to create new trustee roles for young people who have been beneficiaries of our programmes.”

Joining Kirsty on the Board in Non-Executive Director roles are Christopher Beaton, International Customer Marketing Manager at Scottish Qualifications Authority; George Watson, IT Director at Stevenswood and trustee with sportscotland; and Robin Gillies, previous CA with the Edrington Group, member of the Children’s Panel and a mentor with MCR Pathways.


Shell Twilight Basketball Outstanding Achievement Award

By Shell Twilight Basketball Mentor

When I first started working with Declan he was a member of the Irvine Twilight session and the existing staff members had picked him out as someone I may wish to keep an eye on, I was told a story of Declan throwing a bottle of water during a session that was very close to hitting a youth worker that was present, I was then also told of the possibility that he may also storm out because of his problems with controlling his anger and emotion.

I was to witness this very quickly.

Orrin, the coach at Irvine, and I had a chat about a way forward, Orrin having done some previous work with Declan on his issues agreed that us working as a team and being united on what was acceptable behaviour from Declan but also letting Declan know what he could expect from us was the best way forward.

Declan did show immediate signs of responding but was still having occasional incidents of anger and was still disrupting the session on a less frequent basis, progress was slow but myself and Orrin were determined to get the best from Declan and his obvious love of Basketball.

We were then asked by Twilight Basketball to speak to the session about the up and coming ambassador programme, Declan was immediately eager to be involved, this however presented us with a big problem, with Declan still having occasional bursts of anger we did not want other young people at the session seeing us to be rewarding or condoning this type of behaviour.

The same night three members of staff met to discuss the situation, such was the debate that it was taken to a vote to see if Declan would be put forward, and the vote fell in Declan’s favour by two votes to one.

Orrin and I told Declan the following week that we would be willing to put his name forward as long as we saw an improvement in behaviour at the Irvine sessions.

To his credit Declan began to improve on a weekly basis and was indeed put forward for the ambassador programme.

It became apparent very quickly on the weekend ambassador residential at Kilgarston that we had made the right choice in giving him another chance. Declan was now mixing with strangers and also actively encouraging others to take part. As a worker it was joy to see, it was decided that weekend that I would become Declan’s mentor.


I sit here writing this today and can honestly say the transformation in Declan’s behaviours and attitudes both within our session and outside of it is nothing short of phenomenal , this young man when I first met him could justifiably be described as withdrawn, angry, prone to outbursts, unwilling to listen and extremely difficult to work with. (I should know my job is a youth worker with North Ayrshire Council).

Today I would describe Declan as helpful, willing to take part, a team player, a good communicator, a delightful person to be around and a vital part of the Irvine Wolves Twilight Basketball Session.

Declan has actively helped me to deliver Educational timeouts on subjects ranging from LGBTQ+ rights, the white ribbon campaign against domestic violence, bullying, bigotry and racism.

He now attends the Glasgow Rocks college programme in Glasgow and is an independent self-assured young man, we love having Declan at our sessions and really admire the hard work he has put in to transform his life.

The last thing I will say about this nomination is this, when I first attended the session some of the young people wanted Declan removed, 14 months later and the group democratically and by a huge margin voted for Declan to receive this nomination.

Declan is more than worthy of this award.


Just in case Declan should not win this award I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all the wonderful staff at Twilight Basketball and Scottish Sports Futures who have actively supported us in this whole process and have been a constant source of knowledge and understanding to our specific needs.