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NEW SPORTS INITIATIVE AIMS TO SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE

Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) is to launch two new sports initiatives in West Lothian providing a safe environment for young people to meet, socialise, and learn new skills on Friday evenings.

The charity, which uses the power of sport to inspire young people, is to introduce its Shell Twilight Basketball Programme in Blackburn and Dalkeith following an appeal to find activities to support local young people and keep them occupied, particularly around Bonfire season.

The charity will run their sessions every Friday night, from 6.30pm until 9.00pm at the Blackburn Partnership Centre in Blackburn, and are suitable for both male and female participants.  Sessions for 11 to 13 year olds will run from 6.30pm until 7.45pm; and from 7.45pm until 9.00pm for 14 to 21 year olds.

The Dalkeith sessions will launch on Friday 25th October at Dalkeith High School and will run from 5.00pm until 6.00pm for 11 to 15 year olds and from 6.00pm until 7.00pm for 16 to 21 year olds.  Anyone wishing to attend the free sessions should just turn up on the night at the appropriate time.

The Blackburn Bonfire Night Action Group was established earlier this year to address issues faced in the community around bonfire night.  The team regularly liaise with the Scottish Fire and Rescue service who recommended approaching Scottish Sports Futures.

Lee Clark, Local Authority Liaison Officer for the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service said, “I was made aware of SSF through Police Scotland and having looked at their story and having had a chance to meet the fantastic staff, it’s clear they are a passionate organisation that prides themselves on empowering young people and bringing communities together.”

As well as providing the young people the opportunity to participate in basketball, workshops will provide advice and guidance on a variety of health, wellbeing, and safety initiatives including addiction, bullying and nutrition.

Kirsty McNab, Chief Executive, Scottish Sports Futures added, “Our Twilight programme is a really successful initiative which not only supports young people to make healthy lifestyle choices but it creates an environment which encourages young people to take the lead so they become coaches and reach out to other children in the community who they know would benefit.  In every community where we have launched Twilight we have terrific evidence to show the impact across the community as it’s not just the young people who benefit, families and local citizens also see significant improvements which is a win win situation.”

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

Based in Glasgow, Scottish Sports Futures runs a portfolio of programmes across Scotland with each one focused on the different stages of a young person’s development.  Over 200 volunteers support more than 12,000 people each year.

Further information on the sessions are available by contacting Programme Manager, Sean Brady, sean@ssf.org.uk, 0141 218 4640.   www.scottishsportsfutures.org.uk