NASSA AWARDS 2019
MANY of Newham’s key decision makers were in attendance as Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) celebrated its Annual Achievement Awards 2019 at the Houses of Parliament.
The basketball charity, which gives young people the opportunity to play basketball, gain sports qualifications and learn about knife crime, celebrated its young people and volunteers at the home of government.
The event was organised with the help of NASSA Patron, Rt Hon. Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, while other key leaders in Newham showed their support.
Deputy Mayor, Charlene McLean and Unmesh Desai, London Assembly member for City and East, were among those to hear speeches from seven NASSA young people who told the 104 invitees what NASSA means to them and how it has helped to change their lives.
Also in attendance were Newham Councillor Joy Laguda MBE and James Beckles, Newham Cabinet Member for Crime and Community as well as former GB Basketball International Drew Sullivan (2012 Olympic Basketball Captain,
2006 Commonwealth Bronze Medalist, 100 GB Caps ) .
Stephen Timms said: ““It was a pleasure to see so many people from Newham and east London come together to celebrate another year in the life of NASSA. I always marvel at the strides that the young people take because of their involvement in NASSA.
“I know very well that addressing a room full of people can be a daunting experience, but all of the young people who made a speech did so with confidence and conviction.”
The event was held in half-term so that the young people who attend NASSA club sessions were able to attend.
A total of 59 did so and were treated to a walk through the underground tunnel which links Portcullis House and the main Parliament building. The tunnel is usually reserved for use by MPs.
Six police cadets from Newham, accompanied by PC Rob Sewell from the Newham Youth Engagement Team, helped to ensure the smooth running of the event.
NASSA founder and Chief Executive Natasha Hart MBE spoke of her determination to work even harder to educate young people on the danger of knife crime and gang culture through the charity’s Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) initiative.
Ms Hart said: “The Annual Achievement Awards allow us to reflect on what NASSA is about. It is so important to inspire our young people to become better citizens as well as to keep them safe.
“NASSA has so many amazing funders and it is so heart-warming to see them in attendance.
“We always talk of the NASSA family. Everyone who was present is a member of that family.”