Midlothian youngsters to enjoy free basketball thanks to new initiative

Launch night of Twilight Basketball at Newbattle Campus
Launch night of Twilight Basketball at Newbattle Campus

Young basketball players got to shoot some hoops with their idols after a new initiative in Midlothian was launched at Newbattle Community Campus.

Around 40 youngsters attended the new Twilight Basketball programme on November 23 and had the opportunity to meet Glasgow Rocks stars Gareth Murray and Bo Zeigler, who shared some life experiences and led training drills.

A young person attending the session said: “I loved the atmosphere at the session. It was great to learn from the Glasgow Rocks and I had a lot of fun!”

The project will offer young people aged between 11 and 21 the chance to take part in free basketball sessions every Friday from 3-5pm. The aim is to help keep them off the streets and active, as well as encouraging youngsters to make positive lifestyle decisions away from drugs, alcohol and smoking.

Funding is provided through Cashback for Communities, a Scottish Government initiative which reinvests the misappropriated gains of crime.

Scottish Sports Future are working closely with Midlothian Council on the project. SSF programme manager Sean Brady said: “We are delighted to be able to bring a Shell Twilight Basketball session to Midlothian as part of our latest round of funding.

“As well as the weekly sessions, our focus will be to work closely with local partners to take the lead on the initiative and support them to create a long lasting impact for young people in the Easthouses and Mayfield area.”

As well as teamwork activities and confidence-building, young people are also supported into training, volunteering and employment. Twilight Basketball is delivered by qualified coaches and youth workers who also provide weekly educational inputs.