A STIRLING partnership was among the big winners at the sportscotland Scottish Sports Futures Awards 2019.

Stirling Youth Services and Active Stirling won the Partnership of the Year Award for the stellar work they have done in Scottish Sports Futures’ (SSF) Twilight Basketball programme which is designed to give children a safe environment to enjoy sport for free.

Twilight Basketball has provided a safe place for young people to take part in a fun basketball session in Raploch on a Friday night since 2010.

The session has continued to attract young people on a regular basis, providing opportunities to meet new friends, be active and gain a range of skills.

The local youth services team have provided support to the session since it started with dedicated local youth workers attending weekly to support and encourage young people.

With the long-term aim of sustaining the session a partnership was formed including Active Stirling.

They have enabled the session to continue to run with qualified basketball coaches who can offer volunteers their knowledge and experience of working with young people in sport.

The commitment to continue the session and recognise the benefit to local young people and the wider community by these partners has been crucial to reach the common goal of changing lives through sport. 

Emma Plank, Stirling youth team, said: “It’s an honour to win this award. Our partnership is crucial for this programme to continue.

"For this to be recognised shows us and our young people that we are better together and we are on the right track for a sustainable programme for young people.”

The sportscotland Scottish Sport Futures Awards 2019 took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow on February 8 and showcased how sport can be used for positive social change.

It also celebrated the incredible commitment of the young people who engage in sport through SSF and those who have supported them throughout the year.

SSF is a charity which has changed lives through sport. Over the past 18 years its work has supported communities where people are vulnerable or at risk.

SSF's local and national programmes provide tailored pathways to positive destinations, enabling young people to fulfil their potential and widening opportunities for all.

Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have teamed up with Scottish Sport Futures to celebrate the fantastic work being done through their initiatives up and down the country.

“There were some truly inspirational stories among the winners, who through their hard work and dedication have shown how sport can be used for positive social change within their communities.

“As the national agency for sport we believe that young people should have a voice in sport and be able to access great opportunities to learn important skills as well as participate in sport.”

Kirsty McNab, ceo of SSF, said: “We were proud to have showcased our dedicated young people and their work at this spectacular event.

"We are committed to changing lives through sport and these awards give very deserved recognition for the most incredible individuals.

"It is a great honour for us to be lead-sponsored by sportscotland and we look forward to continued partnership working with them.”