'Using sport as a social vehicle' – Canterbury midnight basketball programme aims to keep teens off the street

A scheme set up in Canterbury is using the idea of midnight basketball in order to keep youth off the streets after dark.

The initiative has been set up to aid the youth in Christchurch's eastern suburbs. Source: 1 NEWS

Aimed at kids in Christchurch's Eastern Suburbs, the programme looks to boost self-esteem, and add a sense of belonging to those who need it most.

Teenagers taking part first attend a workshop, where they learn about social inclusion, before a free meal - finally taking to the court.

"It's about the social outcomes," Canterbury Basketball chief executive Paul Duggan says.

"Using sport as a social vehicle and improving the social life here by engaging them in a little bit of sport and teaching them the values of being in a sports team."

The motto "no workshop, no jumpshot" defines the initiative, teaching participants about the combination of sport and education.

With 50 attendees per week, it's hoped that initiatives like these will begin to make a difference in keeping teenagers out late for the right reasons.