Stephen Timms today hosted an event on the House of Commons terrace to celebrate another successful year in the life of Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA). The event was attended by over 50 guests including representatives of the Jack Petchey Foundation, Active Newham, Swan Housing, East London Bus Alliance, London City Airport and Tate and Lyle as well as the Counsellor to the Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister.
Stephen, a patron of the award-winning charity since 2008, handed out awards to NASSA participants and volunteers celebrating their contributions over the past year.
NASSA has become one of the country’s most successful local basketball clubs since its foundation in 2005. The founder, Stratford resident Natasha Hart is a former Russian basketball international. They provide after school training clubs, a Saturday Academy, High Flyers Developmental Programme, volunteer programme, opportunities to achieve accreditation and NVQs, opportunities to gain coaching qualifications, Summer Scheme, holiday clubs and outreach work in local parks and cages. NASSA’s aim is to provide young people with a real alternative to engaging in anti-social behaviour. Their ‘Carry a Basketball Not a Blade’ campaign has won widespread praise.
Speaking after the event, Stephen said: “The contribution NASSA has made to the local community in Newham is substantial. Year after year, they work tirelessly to provide young people with a vision of an inspiring and achievable future. The motivation and encouragement NASSA staff and volunteers provide, as well as the important disciplines sport instils, is commendable. Tonight has been a well deserved opportunity to celebrate this work and all those giving their time and energy to improve the lives of these young people.”