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 www.naadp.com
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 www.ssf.org.uk for more information or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.