On Saturday 27th of August, over 70 young people from across the North of Scotland and Stirling attended Shell’s Woodbank House for a thrilling day of competition and fun on and off the basketball court. All 9 teams demonstrated exhilarating basketball on display right to the end. Scottish Sports Futures Shell Twilight basketball groups from Dingwall, Nairn, Aviemore, Aberdeen and Stirling comprised the ‘Northern Tournament 2016’.
Aberdeen’s Torry session dominated in two age categories taking gold and the trophy in the under 18 and under 21 finals. Stirling were very close to taking the gold in the under 18 finals but claimed silver medals for the under 18 age group and won gold in the under 16 age group. Nairn’s team left with silver medals for the under 16 category and Dingwall were awarded with the “Spirit of the Tournament” trophy for their fantastic attitude and sportsmanship.
This is the fifth time the tournament has run as additional activity to the normal evening diversionary sessions and the fifth time title sponsors, Shell have hosted the event. The FREE programme, supported by Shell, 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 were represented on the day by their Communications & Social Performance Advisor, John Raine who 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 Evie Gallagher from Stirling and Louis Rae from Dingwall for best representing Shell Twilight Basketball. They were both enthusiastic throughout the day and great role models for sport and physical activity.
The unsung heroes of the event, were the Shell Twilight Basketball Ambassadors. This programme, funded by BBC Children in Need, gives young people the opportunity to represent Shell Twilight Basketball and are provided with support to learn new skills and gain formal qualifications. The tournament served as a great opportunity to provide six of our newly appointed ambassadors from across Scotland, with new skills and volunteering experience.
One of the ambassadors, Vincent Malapira said:
“It was an amazing experience! I lead two sessions of educational time outs with my friend Jordyn and another two with Greg who are both Shell Twilight Basketball ambassadors just like myself. I also did scoreboard officials, showed the excited basketball players from their bus to the building where they were playing and more. Helping out and being part of a tournament where lots of people had a great time was hugely enjoyable.”
Alongside our ambassadors, Shell provided great volunteers for the event who had a huge impact on the young people and presented them with their medals and trophies during the award ceremony. A representative from Portlethen Panthers (Basketball Scotland) also spoke to members of staff and participants about the opportunities available to them at the club and how to get involved.
The Shell Twilight Basketball programme is supported by Title Sponsors, Shell and the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities.
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.