Shell Twilight Basketball – Torry Tornados 41 v Peterhead Moths 36. [return]

At 19:00hrs on Friday 16th September over 30 young people from Peterhead and Torry in Aberdeen got together at Shell’s Woodbank House to take part in a special game which was be watched by their families, friends, Shell Staff, community leaders and special guest Maureen Watt MSP for North East Scotland.

The game started well for the Torry Tornados, by the end of the second quarter they led by 10 points, (20 v 10). The Peterhead Moths kept their heads high and came back on court determined to show that even though they hadn’t been together long that they could make their mark. By the end of play they had reduced the difference down to
41 v 36, a remarkable performance by both teams.

The audience were thrilled by the standard of skill and determination displayed on court. Glasgow Rocks professional players EJ Harrison and Gareth Murray were particularly impressed, ‘these guys have really shown everyone hear how exciting basketball can be. I was really surprised at the quality of play and the techniques the young people used, I am sure that the representatives here from Basketball Scotland will be speaking to a number of these incredible players’ said E.J.

Shell Twilight Basketball involves young people and is organised by Scottish Sports Futures Charity. This free programme aims to get young people off the streets, get them fit and through the unique educational “time-out” system which helps them make positive lifestyle decisions away from drugs, alcohol and youth disorder.

Shell Twilight basketball is delivered by qualified coaches and youth workers 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.

Shell’s involvement in the programme started two years ago. Since then, with Shell’s support and that of the Scottish government the programme was expanded to include both Peterhead, Aberdeenshire and in Levenmouth, Fife.

The programme has proved to be hugely successful as boys and girls can play together, it is free from tribalism with Scottish culture and most importantly- it’s great fun!

Since the conception of the charity ten years ago, Scottish Sports Future (SSF) has delivered education through sport programmes to thousands of young people. With sessions containing up to 15 different nationalities SSF have succeeded in bringing together a hugely diverse group of young people and encouraged the development of skills to be put to use both on and off the court. The Glasgow Rocks Professional Basketball Team play a vital role within the delivery of the programmes with the professional players making regular appearances at the programmes where they bring their basketball skills, life stories, advice and energy to inspire young people.

With support from a number of important partners including the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities and Shell, Shell Twilight has grown into a national programme which provides free basketball sessions in a safe setting. The young people have the opportunity to shape their club and access the information they need to develop as individuals.

‘This was a great opportunity for both Shell Twilight teams; The Peterhead Moths were launched last September because Shell staff felt the programme could make a difference to the young people and the communities in which they live, they asked SSF to meet with local groups and within six weeks the project started with over 50 young people turning up on the first week. During the period 3 September 2010 until 22 February 2011, there were124 incidents of Vandalism complaints in Peterhead compared to 186 on average calls in the same period during the previous 3 years. This is a reduction of 33% in Vandalism since Shell Twilight Basketball was started in the area.

Torry Tornados started in 2009; this group has shown great tenacity and commitment, continuing to develop their skills and integrating the migrant population.
To have Shell open their doors to the young people we work with shows how much they are investing in their local communities, we are all very excited about being invited to this great venue.’ said Shaun Cauvin, Shell Twilight Basketball Manager

Fiona Bayne, Head of Communications at Shell, sponsors of Shell Twilight Basketball, said: “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.”

Chief Executive of the charity Ian Reid said ‘I have watched many games over the years but tonight’s game was particularly impressive. When you consider the hurdles many of these young people have to overcome, tonight is a real testament to them and to the staff and volunteers who invest so much time in them. Without support from Shell, The Scottish Government, our other sponsors and funders these young people wouldn’t have opportunities to participate in free programmes like ours and would like many others be on the streets and potentially causing problems within their communities ’

Posted on 18 September, 2011