September 20, 2015 – Newham All Star Sports Academy’s (NASSA) fight against knife crime has won a major victory with Metropolitan Police figures showing that no young person lost their life in the London Borough of Newham as a result of knife crime in the past 12 months.
This is compared to 11 deaths among young people in Newham in the 12 months up to August 2013 and six in the 12 months to August 2014.
NASSA’s contribution to this remarkable statistic is its Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) initiative which this week celebrated its seventh anniversary with a special event at the University of East London’s SportsDock building.
The CABNAB project, run by the successful basketball charity, educates 2,000 schoolchildren in Newham each week on the dangers of carrying a knife and belonging to a gang. Its message is spread in 65 schools and colleges across the Borough.
Anthony Okereafor, a NASSA player who saw two friends die in separate incidents as a result of knife crime in 2008, welcomed the new figures but insisted that the fight against knife crime is far from won.
He said: “It is wonderful news that no young person has lost his or her life in Newham through knife crime in the past year and that no family has had to endure the heartache that follows such a tragic event.
“But we have to keep working and educating young people so that no young person dies as a result of knife crime in the next 12 months, and each year that follows.”
The CABNAB event featured an annual challenge basketball match between a NASSA select side and a team of Metropolitan Police officers.
It was attended by University of East London (UEL) Vice-Chancellor John Joughin. He said: “NASSA is a fantastic initiative. It is obviously having an impact in the community in a positive way.
“UEL is all about working with the community in civic engagement so working in partnership on projects like this is absolutely the thing we aim to do. We are very proud of our association with NASSA.”