Rising basketball stars

editorial image

Over 150 young people from across Glasgow and the West attended the Emirates Arena for a thrilling day of competition and fun on and off the basketball court.

All 16 teams demonstrated exhilarating basketball on display right to the end. Scottish Sports Futures Shell Twilight basketball groups from Glasgow, North Ayrshire, Stranraer and Fife comprised the Basketball ‘West Tournament 2016’.

Glasgow’s Bellahouston session dominated in all three age categories taking gold and the trophy in the under 14 and under 21 finals. They came close to a first place finish in the under 18 category but were narrowly defeated by fellow Glasgow session, Whitehill. Stranraer left with silver medals for the under 14 age group and Glasgow’s Wellhouse team left with silver medals for the under 21 category. New members of the Shell Twilight Basketball programme Dalry were awarded with the “Spirit of the Tournament” trophy for their fantastic attitude and sportsmanship.

This is the second time the tournament has run as additional activity to the normal evening diversionary sessions. The FREE programme 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.

Bellahouston’s head coach, Greta Hart Montgomery, commented on the event; “Teamwork is the beauty of basketball. I watched this in motion at the Shell Twilight Basketball West Tournament. Big guys selflessly giving up the ball to little guys. Teams battling back from a one point deficit. Groups of players across different teams sitting and eating together. The tournament was a success not only because of the number of players involved, the fun or the competition but because it used basketball to foster the spirit of teamwork which far surpasses the event itself”.

Alongside our team prizes, individual “Rising Star Awards” were presented to Abbie McGeoch from Bellahouston and Ellis Graham from Wellhouse for best representing Shell Twilight Basketball. They were both enthusiastic throughout the day and great role models for female participation in 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 eight of our newly appointed ambassadors from across Scotland, with new skills and volunteering experience.

One of the ambassadors, Paul Robson said: “It was great to see so many people in the same place doing something we love and it is a fantastic feeling to know we helped organise it”.

The Shell Twilight Basketball programme is supported by Title Sponsors, Shell and 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 martyn@ssf.org.uk.