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Successful Shell Twilight Basketball National Tournament at the Peak

national-tournament-2016

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 www.ssf.org.uk for more information or contact martyn@ssf.org.uk.