Ultra-violet lighting is used to make each player’s neon bib visible in the dark, while fluorescent strips light up the basketball and hoops.
The club was recently awarded £3,825 from Sport Wales’ Be Active Wales Fund – which uses lottery money – to buy the equipment they needed as well as to pay for facility hire so that each session can be offered free of charge.
Explaining the club’s ‘UV-Me’ project further, Head Coach Lee Coulson BEM said: “We spoke to many women and girls who told us that they aren’t always keen to be seen when taking part in activities. They worry if they’re good enough and whether they’ll look silly in front of other people, while self-image and body confidence is another barrier standing in the way of them taking part in sport.
“So, we set up these ‘glow in the dark’ sessions to make it really fun and hopefully get women and girls hooked on basketball so that they’ll keep coming back. The feedback we’ve received for the project has been absolutely brilliant, and the fact that we’ve been able to offer the sessions for free thanks to the funding has been hugely beneficial.
Coach Coulsen added: “I’m really grateful for the support we received from Sport Wales and the National Lottery. My advice to other clubs is to think outside the box. Get out in your local community, ask them what they want and be creative about how you go about providing your activities.”
Owen Hathway, Sport Wales’ Director for Policy, Insight and Public Affairs, said: “This funding application from Aberystwyth Basketball Club jumped out as a fantastic idea so it was one that we were very pleased to support.
“Body confidence and self awareness are barriers that can stand in the way of people taking part in sport, so it’s wonderful to see how Aberystwyth Basketball Club have considered how to overcome those issues.
“Sport should always be enjoyable, and these glow in the dark sessions are certainly fun. This project truly encapsulates the essence of our mission to create a more active and healthier nation, so well done to everyone at the club for listening to their local community, understanding their needs and coming up with such a great idea.”
The Be Active Wales Fund money also enabled Aberystwyth Basketball Club to set up new Men S’porting Men social basketball sessions which are free of charge for men who may be experiencing mental health difficulties or just want to try a more relaxed fun side to the sport. Each session includes periods of basketball as well as time to chat where players can share how they’re feeling or just have a laugh