basketballscotland’s Social Impact Programme | Case Study
Bilal (not his real name or image) born in Sudan, is a young person who has had the opportunity to thrive in a basketball environment that has enhanced his wellbeing and experience in school.
Bilal, his Mum and Dad, and four younger siblings live in the East End of Glasgow. They are crammed into a 2-bedroom flat in a high-rise that has a notorious perception and image in the area and is regularly associated with low income and anti-social behaviour.
Dad does his best to support the family but is hindered from not speaking the English language. He moved his family from Sudan believing the promise he was sold of ‘a better life in Scotland’. His work ethic is clear for the everybody in the community to see, working long days as a Deliveroo driver – inadvertently ensuring others are fed before his own family. Without doubt, the family live in financial poverty which has only been acerbated by the pandemic and the cost of living crisis in the first quarter of 2022.
There is a regular occurrence and an image of Bilal that sticks in the minds of people within the community. Bilal has considerable responsibility for his siblings. He is regularly seen helping his siblings on the bus, purchasing their tickets and generally looking after them.
This huge responsibility has been delegated to him from his parents, which is stopping him from participating in activities with his friends. In addition, Bilal’s family are strict Muslim’s and participating in physical activity is frowned upon when he could be supporting his family and siblings.
Prior to our programme, the weight of responsibility on Bilal’s shoulders was ‘clear to see’ amongst those in the community, with empathy being shown to this young man whose good nature has made him a likeable character to the local people. As described by the school, Bilal has a ‘nice nature’ with a lot of positive energy to burn.
The school is viewed as being a possible outlet for him to ‘be a kid’. This doesn’t match Bilal’s thoughts of being in school. He does not enjoy the distraction the spending time in school provides. He feels he is neglecting the duty he has to his family.
The responsibility Bilal has on his shoulders develops into anger and aggression both inside school where he is disruptive and frequently in trouble.
The spark for change in Bilal’s life has been an introduction to the basketballscotland CashBack School of Basketball Programme.
With support from our Social Impact Officer, Bilal has been able to consistently express his good nature whilst being involved in an activity which he is passionate about, stimulating positive wellbeing. One-to-one interventions where family circumstances are supported, targets are set and a bright future is emphasised continues to be a positive support for Bilal.
Our programme has given Bilal the opportunity to follow his passion for physical activity and be surrounded by other young people where he can express his interest and have fun. He is at his best when he is playing and surrounded by like-minded people in sport.
Consequently, Bilal has been absorbed in the school environment with his studies and his behaviour in school dramatically improving. A bright future should lie ahead if Bilal can continue to tap into meaningful support.
In our environment, Bilal is able to positively express himself through basketball and be around like-minded people which has consequently engaged him in his studies. The weight on his shoulders of his family responsibilities seems to be dissolved when within our programme and renews his enthusiasm for facing the challenges ahead.
It is early days of Bilal’s involvement in our programme but the support we give him seems to be bringing out the positive side with engagement in school improving due to intentional one-to-one support and an environment where he can play basketball amongst peers.
It is important to note that Bilal is just as supportive of his siblings than ever before, and the programme is positively influencing this. The fate of Bilal will be positive if he can continue to receive support from our skilled youth worker, be engaged in a sport like basketball and develop his skills.