Midnight Basketball Mount Druitt future uncertain due to lack of volunteers

The Midnight Basketball program was once held at Emerton Youth Centre. Picture: Helen Nezdropa
The Midnight Basketball program was once held at Emerton Youth Centre. Picture: Helen Nezdropa

Midnight Basketball Mount Druitt has been considered a slam dunk by players and supporters since its introduction in 2012.

The youth mentoring program has attracted hundreds of teenagers first to Emerton Youth Centre and then Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre, Emerton throughout the last five years.

But the program is now in doubt, after a lack of volunteers saw its most recent season cancelled.

Run on Friday nights during several eight-week seasons each year, Midnight Basketball is about more than sport.

Lifestyle workshops form an integral component of its schedule, with young people aged 12 to 18 are taught how to identify paths to education, training, employment and social inclusion.

It’s motto ‘no workshop, no jumpshot’ symbolises the importance placed on improvement off the court.

“I was involved for about four years but then I moved to Queensland,” concerned former volunteer Ronald Bright said.

“It’s been a tremendous thing for youth in the area. Former players have gone on to become mentors and do coaching.”

The Star understands Midnight Basketball could be back in term two next year, if enough volunteers come forward.

Mr Bright urged others to put their hand up to get the program back on track.

“The 2770 area gets a bad wrap, the community should be pushing for something like this,” he said.

“It is such a shame that the community has not shown their support for this program which has helped so many young people achieve success.

“I do believe it is not too late to revive this program.”