Chance to help youth boost lives

Tournament manager Elyse Burns and Midnight Basketball Albury chairman Rodney Bramich need more volunteers. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

Tournament manager Elyse Burns and Midnight Basketball Albury chairman Rodney Bramich need more volunteers. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

MIDNIGHT Basketball tournament organisers are seeking a community commitment to ensure the program for at-risk youth remains operating in Albury.

A meeting has been called for Wednesday to flush out committee members and volunteers to ensure more tournaments are held.

Midnight Basketball chairman Rod Bramich said he was confident the tournaments would continue, but support was needed.

“It commenced in Albury four years ago with support from Albury Council and many organisations,” he said.

“At the time volunteers were not sure what to expect.

“We certainly hoped to be able to engage with the kids who participated and be able to build rapport and add value to their lives.

“After four years I have no doubt we have achieved this and more.”

Midnight Basketball has conducted eight tournaments in Albury since 2012 and organisers need to make a commitment to holding two tournaments a year to the national governing body.

Midnight Basketball Australia chief executive Tess White will attend the meeting next week at the Robert Brown Room at Albury Council.

“Midnight Basketball Australia provides a lot of support, but its success is highly dependent on community involvement,” Mr Bramich said.

“Communities need to demonstrate the ability to run the program locally, with two eight-week tournaments a year.

“The core of running a sustainable program is finding competent committee members who want to make a difference to youth issues.”

Participants aged between 12 and 18 years are provided with a nutritious dinner and compulsory life skills workshop before the basketball tournament begins.

A bus takes all players home to their front door about midnight.

Each session requires at least 15 volunteers to assist with serving dinner, setting up workshop rooms, coaching, scoring, refereeing, sup-ervising and driving buses.

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