An Irvine basketball coach has been named as a finalist for a national sports award.

Declan Macdougall has been shortlisted for the sportscotland Scottish Sport Futures Awards 2019.

The 17-year-old attends the Glasgow Rocks Academy college programme at Kelvin College Glasgow and Twilight Basketball in Irvine, a Scottish Sport Futures (SSF) programmes designed to give children a safe environment to enjoy sport for free.

The former Greenwood Academy pupil admits there were times when he would struggle to control his behaviour before going to Twilight Basketball and has suffered from anxiety.

Declan says his life has changed dramatically for the better since getting involved in the SSF programme, of which he is now an ambassador.

So much so that he has been named as a finalist for the Ian Reid SSF Outstanding Achievement Award at the sportscotland Scottish Sport Futures Awards 2019.

He said: “Some big aspects of where and who I am now wouldn’t be the same without Twilight Basketball, they just helped me with so much, between the staff and other players, they made my life so much better.

“Before going to Twilight, I would still be very emotional and very angry, I would take things personally while playing basketball. My anxiety was really bad, I definitely wouldn’t be coaching.

“Basketball means everything to me. There was a point when my anxiety got so bad that I wasn’t going to school, and it was reflecting how I was at basketball. I feel like becoming an ambassador is probably my proudest moment.”

The award ceremony will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow on February 8 and will showcase how sport can be used for positive social change and celebrate the incredible commitment of the young people who engage in sport through SSF.