Newham All Stars Sports Academy (NASSA)
HOW NASSA STARTED
In 2005, Natasha Hart took her two sons to an east London park to give them an impromptu basketball lesson. Her sons loved it and told their friends. Other young people joined in. Soon, 30 young people were playing. In 2006, Natasha created the NASSA charity with just £20 in the bank.
CARRY A BASKETBALL NOT A BLADE (CABNAB)
In 2008, two friends of NASSA player Anthony Okereafor were stabbed to death in separate incidents. Anthony wanted to prevent more young lives being lost and families devastated. Through NASSA he created the Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) initiative to mentor and educate local young people about the dangers of knife crime and gang culture.
NASSA now reaches over 2,000 young people (mostly aged 11-16) each week in 50 schools and colleges. Each session includes a CABNAB mentoring talk about knife crime.
Deaths of young people in the London Borough of Newham have fallen dramatically. In the 12 months to August 2013, 11 young people in Newham lost their lives as a direct result of knife crime. In the 12 months to August 2105, that number had dropped to zero. (Source: Metropolitan Police)
- NASSA is incredibly diverse. Its 687 Basketball England-registered playing members speak a total of 151 different languages and dialects.
- NASSA runs a basketball club programme for those young people who want to pursue the sport competitively and gives young people in one of London’s most deprived Boroughs the opportunity to gain officially recognised basketball coaching and officiating qualifications.
- NASSA also runs a wheelchair basketball programme for disabled and able participants in partnership with London City Airport.
NASSA was named overall Charity of the Year at The Charity Awards 2014 and was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Charity Times Awards 2016.
NASSA Head Coach Chris Facey was named UK Community Coach of the Year 2014.
Anthony Okereafor was named one of the UK’s ‘Point of Light’ in 2015 by The Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron.
“When the coach is talking to you, you learn from their experiences and their lives and you are able to put that into your life and work from there. NASSA is my family.” – Sidney Ekio, NASSA player