In the 10 years since Natasha took her sons to Balaam Park to teach them basketball, NASSA has become one of the most successful and caring basketball clubs in the country. Read more here.
Established as a charity in 2006 with just £20 in the bank, NASSA has made a huge impact on community sport in east London. It was the first basketball club in London to be awarded 5-star Club Mark status by Basketball England, while NASSA teams have won 16 National League titles since 2007.
Natasha’s aim has always been to produce good citizens as much as great basketball players. The mentoring talks delivered by NASSA coaches under our Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) initiative have educated 2,000 young people every week about the dangers of knife crime and gang culture.
Natasha moved to east London from her native Russia 25 years ago and holds the unique distinction of having carried torches at consecutive Olympiads. She carried the Olympic Torch for the London 2012 Games and was then chosen to carry the Paralympic Torch ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.
On being awarded the MBE, Natasha said: “I’m bursting with pride. This is beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I was truly shocked when I opened the letter to tell me about the honour. I am so grateful.