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Shell Twilight Basketball launches in Irvine

Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) is pleased to announce the launch of a new Shell Twilight Basketball programme at the brand new Portal facility in Irvine funded by and in partnership with North Ayrshire Alcohol & Drugs Partnership.  75 young people attended the official launch night and the investment will allow local young people to be involved in the unique experiences on offer through the Shell Twilight initiative. This comes after the success of the programme launched in Dalry in 2016. One of the unique aspects of the programme saw Glasgow Rocks professional players Bantu Burroughs & Boris Matrakov attend the launch night to share their life experiences, run some professional training drills & answer questions from the young people.


Sgt Tony Harkin who chairs the Communities and Preventions sub group of the North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership commented on the initiative; “Young people in North Ayrshire regularly receive inputs on alcohol and drugs in a more formal school setting. Shell Twilight Basketball has given us the opportunity to reinforce these messages in a more relaxed environment. By taking advantage of the “educational timeouts” built into the sessions, Police Scotland and our partners have been able to deliver safety talks to the young people in the group. We have used Locality officers to deliver these as well as “lived experience” talks by a person in recovery. The feedback from these has been overwhelmingly positive”

Over 250 young people attend FREE Shell Twilight programmes every Friday night which aim 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.  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, volunteers from Ayrshire College and youth workers from North Ayrshire Youth services who will provide weekly educational inputs. Every session contains high energy basketball coaching which is 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.


Mark Gallagher, Lead Officer, North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) commented on the partnership: “The ADP is delighted to be supporting the Twilight programme within North Ayrshire. By making a financial contribution this positive initiative will support engagement with our young people in order to raise awareness of risky behaviour whilst promoting opportunities to engage in physical activity. The ADP has been working effectively in partnership with Scottish Sports Futures for the past 5 years through delivery of the Jump2It programme within primary schools. The launch of Twilight is another excellent development in relaying these important messages that will have a positive impact on the lives of young people and their local communities. The ADP approach within North Ayrshire takes account of the whole population, not just those people who are dependent on alcohol or substance use. One of our four key priority areas within our strategy is prevention, which aims to increase awareness and attitudes of substance use that will reduce the overall level of addiction related problems.” Further information about the work of the ADP can be found at


SSF Programme Manager Sean Brady said: “We are delighted to be able to bring another Shell Twilight Basketball session to North Ayrshire and the response from young people so far has been phenomenal. The commitment of North Ayrshire Youth Services has been integral to the success of the programme in Dalry and we are excited to deliver this programme in partnership with the team in Irvine.


SSF will work a range of partners to ensure the programme benefits as many young people as possible including North Ayrshire Youth Services, Active Schools, KA Leisure, Basketball Scotland, Ayrshire Tornadoes, Police Scotland and Glasgow Rocks.


Shell Twilight Basketball is also 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 The Portal every Friday between 6-9pm. It is FREE to attend and open to all young people aged 11-21.  Please see for more information or contact


Clyde Gateway – this is the place where health is improving

Clyde Gateway is Scotland’s biggest and most ambitious regeneration project, established in 2008 to improve the lives of people living in the east end of Glasgow and neighbouring South Lanarkshire.

As well as the extensive physical regeneration of the area, Clyde Gateway also supports projects that improve the lives and the health of local people. One example is Jump2it, delivered by Scottish Sports Futures, where 3,000 primary school pupils every year learn about healthy lifestyles and physical activity from professional athletes. They also benefit from basketball coaching and the opportunity to participate in fun inter-school tournaments.

The combination of classroom learning and active participation seems to be a winning formula in inspiring the children to make positive lifestyle choices.

One of the many Clyde Gateway schools where Jump2it takes place is St Columbkille’s Primary School in Rutherglen, where players from local basketball team, the Glasgow Rocks, make regular visits.

“Jump2it has been running here for several years now, and the kids just love it”, says Depute Head Teacher Frances Slater. “They don’t just get to play basketball, they also learn all about healthy living, a message which definitely seems to have more of an impact when it’s being delivered by professional athletes rather than their parents or teachers!

“The programme runs from October to December every year. Last year we had 28 kids taking part; Primary 6 and 7 are involved in the healthy lifestyle aspects of Jump2it, and the Primary 7 participants also get basketball training every week.

“Jump2it has been incredibly effective in re-enforcing the school’s own health and well-being curriculum, and in getting the children to increase their physical activity levels. The children were so excited to be getting coaching from the Glasgow Rocks, and particularly loved the opportunity to compete with other schools at the inter-school tournaments. The end of season basketball festival at the Emirates Arena was a particularly memorable day for everyone involved – we’re lucky to have such an amazing facility so close at hand.

“The report on last year’s programme showed that 40 per cent of the children made a positive change in their eating habits as a result of the lessons they learned, and six of them got the basketball bug and now play regularly. The majority have also been inspired to try out other sports like gymnastics, football or netball. Just about everyone involved was determined to drink more water.

“As well as the physical benefits, so many of the pupils who have been involved in Jump2it tell us about the positive thinking they have taken from it, such as learning never to give up, working as part of a team, and not to say “I can’t do that” but to say “I can’t do it yet, but if I practice I will finally achieve my goal.” One child even reported that he now sees failure as an opportunity to fix mistakes and learn. That’s an achievement in itself.”

To find out more about how Clyde Gateway is the place where health is improving, visit

Local mentors leading the way to change lives. 

Press Release for release Tuesday 14th February

2017 marks 4 years since the Active East legacy initiative launched.  This weekend 19 new recruits to the much coveted youth programme took part in a residential training weekend developed, planned and delivered by young mentors who have themselves come through the programme.  Health inequalities, poverty and high rates of unemployment are just some of the challenges the award winning legacy programme is working to overcome with community youth and sport organisations and incredible young role models and volunteers from within the North East of Glasgow.

In the last year alone, young “Active Champions” have given 11,188 volunteer hours delivering a huge variety of sports and physical activity for young people in their community.  This is the in-kind equivalent of £111,880 of investment to increase levels of physical activity in the city of Glasgow.  To date young volunteers who have accessed the partner led Active East programme have been supported on their journeys to employment, further education and training.

Rohanna Irvine, Youth Development Coordinator with Active East said:

I am super excited to be recruiting more young people into the Active Champion Programme and preparing them for their volunteer journeys with partner organisations in the East End of Glasgow. It is fantastic to see so many young people wanting to take the lead and help other young people within the East End.

Edward Fitzpatrick has been involved since 2013 and is now a mini mentor with the programme and planned and delivered much of the content from the weekend for new Active Champions.  When describing his experience of the programme he said:

“One of my highlights of being involved in the Active East programme was meeting Sir Chris Hoy at an event during the Commonwealth Games. I really wanted to say to him he was my main role model but before I could he said that I was a local role model and making a real difference. This was an absolute high for me! But after this high came a really tough time, I didn’t get the exam results I was hoping for. However, I managed to gain an advanced higher A in Graphic communication. I was accepted to study at Glasgow school of Art where I knew it was hard to gain a place. Of course the grades I achieved helped but I really believe I got there because of the skills I gained through years of volunteering. As part of my product design course in first year, I got to go and do a project with Kirsty in Active East which was crazy as I got to give back so quickly.”

He finished by saying to the young volunteers: “help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours”. 

In January the Active East programme was successful in

being awarded £50,000 from the Scottish Governments Active Scotland Legacy fund continuing the initial investment made by The Robertson Trust, Comic Relief and the Governments CashBack for Communities’ initiative. The legacy funding will support new recruits and those already involved to begin creating their own peer education on topics they know affect local young people, they will be creating new exciting activity programmes, delivered for free, in areas which need provision most and after consultation to identify what kids really want to do. They will also be shaping a new and exciting training programme which will be delivered across Scotland designed to maximise the impact of sport and physical activity on social and personal development.

Andy Sinclair, Head of Legacy at the Scottish Government said:

 “We are delighted to offer continued support, through our Legacy funding, for the fantastic work that Active East do. The Active Champions in particular, give so much to their communities and do great work in promoting increased levels of physical activity

All of the Active Champions hard work is accredited through Glasgow Kelvin College’s Community Achievement Awards, they also recognise their achievements and can reflect their learning in updated CV’s and are encouraged and supported into further education, training courses and jobs.

Here’s to the Active Champions of Glasgow. Truly inspirational individuals working to change their own lives and improve the lives of others. These young people really are the future.

For more information on the Active East programme see our website –

ETC – A look back at 2016!

What a 2016 for ETC!!! ETC delivered 130 courses to participants across 18 local authorities in Scotland! In total 2294 participants completed ETC modules throughout the year. Please see a breakdown of this year’s delivery figures below.


As noted above ETC courses were  delivered in 18 local authorities. This delivery varied from block bookings to young leaders and young ambassadors across North Lanarkshire, North Ayrshire and Dundee to single module delivery to specific groups which benefited for example from the Communication module or Conflict Resolution. Please see the diagram below showing ETC’s local authority delivery.


ETC is currently going through the SCQF accreditation process, working closely with Glasgow Kelvin College. This has been an exciting process and will add so much value to the ETC programme when complete. This is likely to be completed by the end of  January 2017 and will then launch in March 2017.

ETC continues to receive positive feedback from participants, please see a small collection below;



Callum Campbell – My first three months with SSF

I have been working with Shell Twilight Basketball for the last three months. During my time with Twilight I have had the opportunity to try a variety of different tasks.

In September I attended the ambassador residential where I got the opportunity to build up my coaching skills. Everyone who wanted to take a turn of coaching got the chance. I tried a drill with my group and this really helped my confidence as everyone gave me feedback on how I could improve rather than looking at the negatives. While at the residential I met Sarah Hutton who is the head coach at the Wellhouse session, she asked me if I would like to go to Wellhouse on a Friday and build up my coaching skills. I have been attending the session for a while now and last week even got the chance to take the younger group for a session where I used a pre prepared session plan. I ran the session plan past Martyn and Peter to make sure it was suitable I also ran it past Sarah when I arrived at the session.

In October Martyn and I helped at the Reidvale outdoor tournament where I got to take part in the tournament as one team was a player short. I also helped at the National Tournament at the PEAK Stirling which was attended by 250 young people. I helped the rest of the Twilight team set up the night before then on the day of the tournament I took a team from Nairn who had no coach. With a little help from Twilight Ambassador Greg, I thought it went well and everyone enjoyed themselves. It was good to see everyone enjoying themselves knowing how much hard work everyone from Twilight put in to make it a success.

After the tournament I took responsibility putting the evaluation surveys into survey monkey which gives us a rough idea of what things people enjoyed from the tournament and what to include at the next one. Also after the tournament I sorted through photos, picking the best ones and deleting any photos that had multiple copies. I then created a Facebook photo album and posted the photos I thought were the best

I also started doing my SVQ work which I do on a Monday. Kirsty from FARE comes in on a Thursday to talk me through the questions that I have to do the following Monday, I find the SVQ work challenging but Jim who manages the MEND programme has made it easier for all the modern apprentices by getting us to do it together so if we are struggling we can help each other or ask Jim as he has spoken to FARE and knows ways to help us if we are struggling. This has increased my confidence about doing my SVQ as I am not the only person in the office doing the work.

I have enjoyed my first three months with SSF with the highlight being the residential as it was the first time I got to meet the ambassador’s as well as Twilight coaches from across Scotland Callum, Laura, Sarah and Andrew. I am looking forward to the different tasks I will face in the remainder of my time with SSF.      ardoch-resedential-jpg-2 ardoch-resedential

Successful Shell Twilight Basketball National Tournament at the Peak


On Saturday 29th of October, over 250 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 31 teams demonstrated exhilarating basketball on display right to the end. Scottish Sports Futures’ Shell Twilight Basketball groups from Highlands, Aberdeen, Fife, Stirling, Glasgow, North Ayrshire and Stranraer comprised the ‘National Tournament 2016’.

For the first time a Ladies category was introduced 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. Bellahouston Ladies won gold medals and the trophy with Wellhouse Ladies coming incredibly close. Bellahouston’s head coach, Greta Montgomery said

“The addition of the all-girls games was a highlight for me! We have some incredible girls who got to enjoy the spotlight which sometimes gets overshadowed when they play with the guys. It was a highlight for them as well.”

This is the sixth time the tournament has run as additional activity to the normal evening diversionary sessions and the first time the event has been hosted outside of Glasgow. The Peak in Stirling was a fantastic venue and the staff were very accommodating. 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’s 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 work with Scottish Sports Futures, the Scottish Government and The Glasgow Rocks in delivering this programme”.

Alongside our team prizes, individual “Rising Star Awards” were presented to Vincent Connelly from Stirling, Caitlin Ward and Dylan Watson from Wellhouse for best representing Shell Twilight Basketball values. All three were enthusiastic throughout the day and great role models for sport and physical activity.

Educational workshops were scheduled into the event to provide the young people with important information on topics including; racism, communication, organised crime, resilience, nutrition and healthy living. 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 Red Card Scotland came in specially to offer professional advice on organised crime and racism.

Scottish Sports Futures programmes Education Through Cashback, MEND 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 MEND programme manager, Jim Boyd 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 nutrition in leading healthy lives to support both them and their basketball.”

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 for more information or contact

Paul Nicholson: My week working with SSF!

This week I have been doing my work experience with SSF (Scottish Sports Futures). I have been involved in lots of different things throughout the week. On the first day of my work experience  I got to go to Celtic Park for a tour and also went to different schools across Glasgow teaching them about drugs, alcohol and healthy eating as part of the Jump2it programme. I have also coached some basketball sessions to the young people in the schools and they also got to meet the Glasgow Rocks players and get photos with them.

paul-nOne of my tasks this week was to support with sending emails to different organisations and businesses to see if they could donate anything to us for prizes for the big SSF Awards Night that is coming up on 30th November. So far I have managed to secure prizes from ‘The One 0 One’ off license and Ryze Glasgow!

Finally, I have been planning the Christmas night out for active champions, researching ideas and finding out prices to keep to budget. I have passed on all options to active champions so they can vote for which activity they would like to do.

This week I have learnt a range of new skills which have included computing, use of emails, communications skills and time keeping. All the work I have been doing this week will go towards my Community Achievement Award.


Minister for Public Health and Sport to attend SSF Awards 2016

Aileen Campbell MSP Minister for Public Health and Sport has confirmed attendance at what promises to be the best night of the year as Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) celebrate a year of incredible and inspirational achievement by young people in Scotland on St Andrews Night. The theme for the evening, selected by young people, Simply Scottish Fashion will be thread through the night as guests are treated to one of a kind performances all designed to showcase and celebrate young people.

The evening will be co-hosted for the second time by rising local star Andrew Marley who is himself involved with several SSF programmes as a participant young person, benefiting from training and volunteer placements and who has become a mentor and role model for younger people. Andrew is dedicated to bringing about change in the community he grew up in, the East of Glasgow, and is a driving force in recent charity developments to meet the needs of young people. This year he is joined by Kevin Brannigan, also from the East End of Glasgow and fresh from a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Ian Reid OBE founder and Chief Executive:

SSF is a young person led charity and the Awards Night is no exception to the ethos. We always look forward to this evening and year on year it just keeps getting bigger and better. I have no idea what the young people are planning for St Andrew’s night but I do know it will be a fantastic evening, that it’s a celebration of the achievements of some of the amazing young people we work with and a timely reminder that what we do matters to a lot of people”.

Aileen Campbell MSP Minster for Public Health and Sport said:

“I’m delighted to attend these annual awards which showcase some of the great achievements of these young people over the last year. All of them should be very proud. SSF does some tremendous work to promote sport and physical activity, often in disadvantaged communities. I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to support some of the work through our Legacy 2014 funding. “

Without the support of partners, sponsors and funders, SSF would not be able to reach and impact the young people who live in communities facing disadvantage and we are delighted to have confirmed award sponsors; Youth Scotland, Melvin Creative and Bannister and Gasp who are also sponsoring all the print for the night as well as soft drinks for the young people in attendance, The Wise Group, Spiers Gumley, Pavilion, The Robertson Trust, RJM Sports, MyTime Active, Unison and Concept Northern.  Faxco Ltd, “The Photocopier & Solutions Company” have also sponsored to make this a night to remember alongside the Scottish Government Active Scotland Legacy, fitting as the legacy branded Active East programme is where this celebration began its life.

Mike Melvin of Melvin Creative commented:

Why sponsor the SSF Awards? Well, last year’s SSF Awards night was such a hit that we had the same guests asking to be invited again to this year’s event! The young nominees are a real inspiration, it’s a great, fun, positive evening and we even managed to gain some new business from those attending the event. It really was a simple decision to continue our relationship and sponsor another SSF Award this year”.

Winner of the 2015 Coach of the Year Award Precious James Miene said after last year’s event: “Volunteering with twilight has literally change my life it’s given me a purpose and a drive to make an impact in people’s life for the better, I would not change it for the world and I can never thank them enough for the chance to put a smile on someone else’s face.”

There are still some tickets available, contact for more details and see our website

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