You are here: Home / Media / Midnight Basketball pilot sends warm ripples through the community - SSH June 2006

Midnight Basketball pilot sends warm ripples through the community - SSH June 2006

Midnight Basketball, an educational and basketball program for kids, was launched for the first time in Australia in the Redfern/Waterloo area in February this year reports Ben Falkenmire in the South Sydney Herald June 2006.

The aim of Midnight Basketball, which has enjoyed success in the US, the UK and Europe, is to provide kids with alternative activity during ‘high crime’ periods and positively assist in their transformation into young adults.

The not-for-profit organisation combines compulsory educational workshops with a competitive basketball tournament to achieve this, living by its “No Workshop, No Jumpshot (basketball game)” philosophy.

The February pilot program held at Alexandria Park Community School, spanned eight weeks, finishing in April with the basketball finals. Kids from the immediate areas of Alexandria, Redfern and Waterloo attended, with parents, relatives, school teachers and volunteers from the community assisting the Midnight Basketball team with duties ranging from coaching, catering, scoring, spectating and most importantly encouraging the kids.

The Midnight Basketball board of directors has high aspirations to expand the program, both in the State and nationally.

The board commissioned the Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre of Australia (CIRCA) to measure the level of impact of the pilot on the kids.

CIRCA reported positive responses from all involved, highlighting its benefits for kids from financially constrained families and the significant level of community involvement. Midnight Basketball director Jonathon Wolfe confirmed the board was pleased with the results.

“We are very satisfied with the pilot meeting our objectives.

We were particularly happy with the adoption of the program by the community which resulted in increasing number of family members and community participants attending over the eight week duration.”

Interest in the next program has already stirred. Project Manager Sue Hogan said “I’ve been fielding calls from mums, kids, school representatives. So many of the kids are wanting to know when the next Midnight Basketball will be held”.

They should not have to wait too long. The Midnight Basketball team is working towards a July start to coincide with the commencement of the school term. Sponsorship money permitting, the team intends to run the program again in Alexandria and in addition launch two new programs at yet to be determined inner city and western Sydney locations.

The Midnight Basketball team will again be calling for community participants and volunteers to assist and benefit from a rewarding experience.

See for contact details and further information.