Wheelchair basketball participants celebrate win

Focus On ... Basketball

How a sport puts wellbeing of participants front and centre

basketballscotland have introduced their new Wellbeing Ambassador initiative as an additional support to clubs across Scotland.

With support from Cashback for Communities and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), the programme aims to further support the development of individuals who will create a safe and welcoming environment for conversations about mental wellbeing within basketball clubs.

Twenty-four clubs across Scotland in both running and wheelchair basketball have signed up to create their first Wellbeing Ambassadors.


What is a Wellbeing Ambassador?

The new Wellbeing Ambassador initiative will include two separate tiers for participants to become involved in - Wellbeing Lead and Wellbeing Champion.

Wellbeing Leads will be an adult within the club who will be charged with facilitating and engaging in conversations around mental health within all aspects of the club, as well as being the go-to person for all of the Wellbeing Champions.

Wellbeing Champions will be younger members of the club who are responsible for initiating peer-to-peer conversations with their teammates and making sure everyone feels comfortable and positive during sessions and events.

It’s hoped that the Wellbeing Champions can be a friendly confidant for players to relate to.

basketballscotland are hoping this can make a big difference to the club environment in the community.

Kieran Lynch from basketballscotland said: “Wellbeing Ambassadors are a new layer of help and guidance for our clubs. We understand the power of sport and how important it can be for mental wellbeing, and by adding these new layers of support for clubs we can aid effectiveness within the community.”

All Wellness Ambassadors will receive an extensive learning education which is being delivered in partnership by SAMH, Scottish Sporting Futures (SSF) and the True Athlete Project (TAP).


Ambassadors in practice

Long-standing basketball club Dundee Madsons have opted to appoint Wellbeing Ambassadors.

Club secretary Heather Rennie said: “The club recognised the importance of ensuring its members are being looked after both on and off court. Our Wellbeing Leads, Scott and Rachael, have sons who play in the Under 16s team and have advocated the support of all members mentally as well as physically.

“The eight-month Wellbeing Ambassador programme is intense,” added Scott, “but the club are ready to launch the next part of the programme and appoint Wellbeing Champions from the boys’ and girls’ youth teams.”

With Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions in place, Dundee Madsons are aware that players are currently missing out on social interaction with other players, coaches and parents. It was something that the Wellbeing Ambassadors looked to address. The club is currently in the process of organising online basketball tournaments using different gaming platforms, encouraging the players to continue to interact.


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