Midnight Basketball is well underway in Geraldton, attracting many players and up to 20 volunteers helping each night.
Part of a national, community-run program, Midnight Basketball is held for eight weeks at the Active West Stadium on Friday nights for susceptible 12-18 year olds from 7.30pm.
Each Tournament night includes a hot, nutritious dinner followed by a compulsory life skills workshop before basketball begins, and a free bus ride home for all the players.
Organised by a local community committee, with members from City of Greater Geraldton, Yellow Ribbon, the local Drug Action Group, Geraldton Family and Youth Support Service, Midwest Cylinder Heads, Centacare and Professionals Real Estate, the program enables youth to engage with sport in a healthy environment.
Yvonne Lovedee, City of Greater Geraldton's community development officer and Chair of the Midnight Basketball Geraldton Community Committee, said the response in the past few weeks of the tournament had been very encouraging.
“We are seeing a high level of interest and energy from the players and volunteers, the youths keep turning up and having a great time, the nights run smoothly by our team of volunteers and overall it’s a fun and enjoyable night,” she said.
“Midnight Basketball is definitely proving to be a successful model in the community with basketball being the magnet for teens to get in and participate.
“It’s a great opportunity for Geraldton’s youth to involve themselves in the life skills workshops, experience being part of a team, to be motivated and inspired to build on leadership, teamwork, behaviour and fitness skills."
Grand Final Night will be held on Friday, September 27 and to ensure all participants have a place on the night, they need to be registered in the program and play at least five games.
To register as a volunteer visit http://www.midnightbasketball.org.au/Locations/GERALDTON/Pages/Volunteers.aspx , or to register as a player, visit http://www.midnightbasketball.org.au/Locations/GERALDTON/Pages/Players.aspx