December 2, 2016 – Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) has received the perfect early Christmas present with three members of the NASSA family being recognised as community champions.
Coach Chris Facey, Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) creator Anthony Okereafor and player Tyrees Garrod collected their awards on Thursday night at the coveted KeolisAmey Docklands Community Champion Awards 2016.
The awards, which are in their second year, celebrate individuals and groups in the communities served by London’s Docklands Light Railway.
Canning Town schoolboy Tyrees was named Young Achiever of the Year category for his stance against bullying. A victim himself in the past, Tyrees now stands up in classes to give anti-bullying talks to pupils of all ages and also offers advice to the younger NASSA members at training sessions.
Tyrees said: “It’s amazing to be given this award. I didn’t set out to win anything. I just wanted to help other people not have the experience that I had.”
NASSA Head Coach Chris was recognised as Role Model of the Year for his work in inspiring young people across east London to embrace the positive virtues that basketball can offer. Coach Chris mentors the young people and is always available to offer advice on life as well as basketball.
He was typically humble when accepting his award. Chris said: “To be in the same room as all those people who are doing so many great things was enough. I feel very honoured.”
NASSA men’s team player and sports coordinator Anthony collected the Outstanding Service to the Community award for his work promoting NASSA’s CABNAB initiative. Anthony came up with the idea of educating young people on the dangers of knife crime and gang culture in 2008, the year in which two of his friends died in separate knife-related incidents.
Anthony said: “It is a great feeling to win an award, but we must not forget all of the young people who have lost their lives through knife crime and we have to carry on our work. My dream has always been to spread our CABNAB work all over the country.”