All posts in SSF News

Players Rock into Nairn!

Nairn Knights group pic


Nairn Knights had a visit from Glasgow Rocks professional players Jordan Clarke and Bantu Burroughs at one of their Friday sessions last month. The players shared their basketball journeys and experiences of playing professional basketball. Along with the coaches they went on to work on dribbling and shooting techniques followed by a series of games at the end.

Knights player Andrew Wilson commented on the session: “It was great to have two of the Glasgow Rocks players come up to Nairn and teach us how to improve our dribbling and shooting”

Over 250 young people attend FREE Shell Twilight programmes every Friday night across Scotland 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 coaches who provide a variety of content suitable to the participants. 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.Jordan Clarke coaching

 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 also work with a range of local partners to ensure the programme benefits as many young people as possible including Highland Active Schools, Basketball Scotland & Police Scotland.

Shell Twilight Basketball runs at Nairn Academy every Friday between 7-9pm. It is FREE to attend and open to all young people aged 11-21.  Please see for more information or contact

Active journeys to positive destinations

A report available on Commonwealth Day, Monday 14th March, states that 80% of participants involved with a Scottish Sports Futures programme are from 20% of the most deprived areas in Glasgow. Award winning Active East is a youth work and sport project working with young people in the east end of Glasgow which used the 2014 Commonwealth Games as a catalyst to address significant issues relating to young people’s lack of participation in sport and physical activity.

The legacy programme aims to increase activity levels amongst young people and encourage community participation and leadership through volunteering. The economic contribution of these young volunteers, Active Champions, over a 20 month period is estimated to be in excess of £60,000. Through the small grant element of the programme 70% of participants stated that they were more active at the end of the project than they had been at the beginning.

Joshua Juanatas, Active Champion said recently: “Active East is where I started and you can never forget where you came from they have been there for me since day one so massive thank you At a young age I have always looked up to people and have my own role models! Being a part of all these programs I’ve been the role model and young people look up to me! 100% awesome feeling! I can write a book here! So thank you for all the experience and awesome memories but also more to come.”

Fellow Active Champion Precious James Miene, who has recently been shortlisted in the 2016 Street Games UK coach of the year awards says simply: “”Volunteering 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 would not change it for the world and I can never thank them enough for the chance of put a smile on someone’s face.”

 Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “Active East is a project that absolutely embodies the spirit of Commonwealth Games legacy. This report shows that the programme was very successful in bringing young people together and getting them involved in physical activity. I’m also pleased to see that Active East was so successful in engaging with young people in some of Glasgow’s more deprived communities. I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved, particularly the Active Champions, who devoted so much of their own time to make the project a success.”

 The initial programme ran from 2011 to 2014 and on Legacy day 2016 findings and learning from an external evaluation commissioned by one of the programme funders, The Robertson Trust, conducted by University of Stirling are being shared. This evaluation looked at not only what was achieved through the programme, but what the specific elements of the programme were that were particularly helpful in leading to successful outcomes for participants. Building relationships through a youth work approach has been the key; putting young people’s perspectives at the heart of the programme to address their needs, ambitions and any barriers that they may have to engaging in physical activity.

Linda Macdonald Senior Development at the Robertson Trust said: “We know that sport can be a powerful tool to support young people transform their lives.  What the Active East approach has demonstrated is some of the key factors, such as being focussed on the needs and aspirations of individual young people, which can ensure that sport does make a difference.”

The evaluation determined that Active East has demonstrated positive impacts on developing young leaders and creating opportunities for young people to engage in physical activities and sport. This is through the Active Champion programme made up of young volunteers aged 14-25 living or willing to volunteer in the East End of Glasgow.

Kirsty Partridge, Head of Operations of Scottish Sports Futures said: “Active East is one of the most special and truly inspiring pieces of work I have ever had the pleasure of working on. Not only are the Active Champions entirely dedicated to not only grasping every opportunity they can but they also genuinely want to make a difference in the communities in which they live. The Commonwealth Games provided such a once in a lifetime platform to motivate and create change and we remain excited about our work in the East End and with all our partners, sharing our learning and taking a youth work approach to engaging through sport”.

To get your copy of the report and read more about the impact of Active East directly from young people see here –

From participant to coach – Emily’s Jump2it Journey


When I was 10 years old the headteacher of my primary school told us the Scottish Rocks were visiting our school for a Jump2it roadshow event to teach us about healthy lifestyles and basketball. I can remember being very excited, as it was during this time that I was beginning to enjoy the sport and exercise in my physical education class. The Rocks player visit was amazing and inspiring. At the end of the afternoon, Sterling (a former Rocks player and now the Glasgow Rocks coach), picked a Most Valuable Pupil who was awarded tickets for a game and got to be a mascot which involved running out on the court with the players. This MVP turned out to be me! I was so happy and proud of myself for days that my parents couldn’t shut me up.

This experience I have held on to for the rest of my life, and ever since that day I continued playing basketball with local clubs and then pursued this into life as a coach with Jump2it. When I joined the Jump2it programme as a coach, I realised that it was the IMG_9986same programme I had participated in as a child and I couldn’t believe that 10 years later I was standing next to Sterling as a Jump2it coordinator.

I love to coach and I am so passionate about it because I know how inspiring and life changing coaching can be for children.  I hope 10 years from now, I will also meet a child who I have inspired.

Emily Smith, Jump2it Coordinator


Active East legacy two years on, changing lives through sport

AE Front page

Click on the image to view and get your copy of the report.

Active East is a youth work and sport project working with young people in the east end of Glasgow which used the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a catalyst to address significant issues relating to young people’s lack of participation in sport and physical activity. It aims to increase physical activity levels amongst young people and encourage community participation and leadership through sport and physical activity.

The initial programme ran from 2011 to 2014 and on Legacy day 2016 findings from an external evaluation conducted by University of Stirling will be shared. This evaluation looked at not only what was achieved through the programme, but what the specific elements of the programme were that were particularly helpful in leading to successful outcomes for participants.

Blog – Rohanna Irvine, SSF Youth Development Coordinator

Ro Awards 2












National Youth Worker of the Year Awards 2016



Rohanna has been successfully shortlisted in the prestigious Youth Link National Youth Worker of the Year Awards 2016 because she is a hilarious one of a kind person who would do anything to ensure young people have the best possible life opportunities.

Rohanna stands out because she always goes way over and above and inspires everyone around her to be as good as they can be. She gives herself to the job and as a result really is changing the lives of young people she works with every day. She inspires everyone around her to be the best they can be, colleagues, managers and young people.

In her role with Active East, Rohanna has quite literally changed the lives of the Active Champions, an example of this is where she created a job within our organisation through our partnership with FARE on a modern apprenticeship for an Active Champion who is now leading on the mentor programme. She has given young people training opportunities, which they have identified, and listened to them to ensure they put this into practice through volunteering placements purposefully designed to allow them to flourish. If there is no training out there for example that would help upskill young people she will create it along with subject specialists. She allows young people to believe that anything is possible. No matter what their age, background, experience or education. They can work hard and support each other to achieve their dreams.

Ro AwardsRohanna is absolutely dedicated to her role as a youth worker with Scottish Sports Futures within the Active East programme in Glasgow. She supports Active Champions, young volunteers, and mentors with individualised programmes of awards and training to upskill them to volunteer within a network of 41 local youth and sport organisations in the East of Glasgow. Many of these young people require a great deal of support out with their volunteering roles delivering sport and physical activity for other young people. She is exceptionally skilled and has an innate ability to engage young people in a fun, supportive and bespoke way, reflective of their individual needs. Rohanna has created an award winning volunteer programme within which young people are supported to shape and progress the opportunities available to others.


Those who have moved on to university and employment have remained involved in the programme all due to Rohanna’s ability to embrace a youth work approach to programme development as well as young person development. She has created a mini mentor programme, enabling those Active Champions who have been involved in the programme for 2 years to take on a leadership and development role, supporting younger volunteers whilst developing their own confidence and abilities. In her role Rohanna has supported young people experiencing crisis with compassion and tenacity. Working with colleagues in social work and health care teams has ensured that these young people are not ‘lost’ and remain engaged and sustain positive relationships. Rohanna is an inspiration to all who work with her, young people, colleagues – she is regularly asked for advice and guidance for programme development, for things like integration of youth achievement awards, for planning residential trips and for supporting young people with complex needs. She always finds time for young people, whether this is for applications to university or Camp America, to do the West Highland Way, or to meet them at court, these are all things over and above her job role. She never ever asks for praise or recognition and this shortlisting, regardless of the outcome on the 10th March awards night provides Rohanna with a well-deserved accolade for all her hard work.


Walk for Scotland’s Children: Support SSF in the Kiltwalk

Hi All!

To Sign up for the following opportunity, please follow this link and select ‘Scottish Sports Futures’ once you have entered your details!


Glasgow Kiltwalk poster
























Young people at the heart – Scottish Sports Futures Celebrate 15 years of changing lives through sport

Andrew Marley - Parliamentary Reception 1280x768 (2)


The impressive Scottish Parliament building played host to Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) reception last week, celebrating 15 years of sport for change and showcasing some of the thousands of amazing young people that we have the privilege of working with right across Scotland.


Over the last 15 years SSF have developed well respected and evidence based initiatives that inspire and motivate.  Whether tackling social issues such as addiction and anti-social behaviour or providing meaningful volunteering and training opportunities that lead to employment, SSF makes a real, lasting impact that provides a brighter future for some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged youths.


The evening, attended by funding partners, MSP’s, Ministers, community partners and SSF participants was expertly hosted by Active Champion and aspiring young actor Andrew Marley who ensured the event was up-beat and interactive.  Guests had the opportunity to meet delivery staff and most importantly the participants who have benefited and supported a variety of sport and physical activity programmes in communities right across the country.


The event also launched the brand new SSF video filmed, edited and produced by a young volunteer Geetika Jhakra, the footage captures the essence of the organisation, heard from partners and young people and highlighting the great variety of activities that are delivered and the impacts that have been achieved.  SSF programmes have positively impacted, health, education, volunteering, employment and community safety and the footage can now be seen at


SSF Chief Executive, Ian Reid OBE said “I really enjoyed the evening it was great to see so many young people and partners in attendance and to meet new contacts who are interested in supporting our work.  We also thank the Minister for Public Health, Maureen Watt for attending and recognising the contribution that SSF makes to the wider health agenda.”


SSF worked with almost 16,000 young people last year, supported over 300 young people into positive destinations and recorded an investment of over 7500 volunteer hours.  Guests on the night were encouraged to make a pledge to support the on-going development and delivery of SSF programmes and enable us to reach even more vulnerable young people.  Everyone can play their part in creating a safer, stronger, healthier Scotland and giving young people the future they deserve.

Get along to Future Starz!



basketballscotland is delighted to present Future Starz for 2015-16.

Future Starz is basketballscotland’s Player Development Programme for boys and girls aged between 7 and 14 years old.

The programme is set up with the aim of increasing the number of young athletes on the performance pathway and exposing them to various aspects of training, crucial to success of future elite performers.

This season basketballscotland presents a refreshed and enriched programme which aims to reach and inspire more youngsters to take up the sport and build on their potential.

Future Starz is designed to identify the potential players within each region and work to develop their individual skills across regular sessions and National camps.

Our national development squads for Under 11, Under 12, Under 13 and Under 14 are then selected from our Future Starz, at the culmination of the programme.

Future Starz will be endorsed by 9 regional development centres: Edinburgh East, Edinburgh West, Glasgow, West, Central, Tayside, Kinross, Grampian and Highland. These regional centres will provide greater coverage across the country meaning better accessibility and specific regional needs coverage.

Are you ready to get involved in Future Starz 2015 – 16? Registration is now OPEN for 2015 – 16.

Click HERE to register for your Regional Test Day.

Young Ambassadors run a fantastic tournament. Watch the slam dunk videos!

Shell Twilight Basketball hosted a large tournament at the Glasgow Emirates Arena recently, and it was all arranged by the next generation of sports leaders; the Shell Twilight Basketball Young Ambassadors.

The young ambassador programme, supported by Children in Need, provides continuous guidance combined with a first-hand experience of leadership in sport.

Participants from several locations in Glasgow and Fife traveled to meet old friends and enjoy a day of competition in world class facilities. The day started with a three point competition with one member from each of the nine teams nominated for the responsibility. All participants were given great support throughout by the other teams and there was some fantastic skills throughout.

Before the main tournament in the afternoon which was a fine exhibition of determination, athleticism and teamwork, the teams were asked to nominate a player to enter the long-awaited Slam Dunk competition. This was a spectacle to behold and would need to be seen, and fortunately for you we got some of the clips on video! Please check out the Slam Dunk video on our Youtube channel.

Thank you to all involved on a great day, and a special thanks to the Young Ambassadors for creating such a welcoming and well-run event.


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