CHARITY OF THE YEAR! – NASSA is on top of the charity world

June 13, 2014 – Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) has received the ultimate accolade by being announced as Charity of the Year in The Charity Awards 2014 – the most prestigious awards programme in the charity sector.


NASSA founder Natasha Hart receiving the Overall Winner Award.

CHARITY OF THE YEAR! – NASSA on top of the charity world

June 2014 – Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) received the ultimate accolade by being announced as Charity of the Year in The Charity Awards 2014 – the most prestigious awards programme in the charity sector.

The highly coveted honour was announced last night at a star-studded awards evening at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

Earlier in the evening, NASSA was chosen as winner of the Children and Youth category because of the impact that our Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) initiative has had on our young people and the local community in east London.

The overall Charity of the Year was then selected from the 10 category winners. For NASSA it is the highest possible praise for the work that began with an impromptu basketball coaching session in an east London park in 2005.
Charity Awards judge Sir Christopher Kelly described NASSA as “a really energetic organisation doing substantial things to help the local community.”

Natasha Hart, MBE – by Royal Appointment!

June 2015 – Natasha Hart, founder and chief executive of Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA), was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for Services to Sport in East London.

11-Member of the British Empire (MBE)_post

Natasha, who moved to east London from her native Russia 25 years ago, established NASSA as a charity in 2006 with just £20 in the bank to give young people in East London the opportunity to play regular sport in a safe and fun environment. Her aim has always been to produce good citizens as much as great basketball players.

On being awarded the MBE, Natasha said: “I’m bursting with pride. This is beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I am so grateful. It was the farthest thing from my mind when I took my sons to the local park to show them basketball, the game I love, ten years ago. I just wanted to give them and their friends something to look forward to each week.

CABNAB receives support and recognition from 10 Downing St

January 2015 – Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) player and CABNAB creator Anthony Okereafor was named one of the UK’s Points of Light by Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron, for his work in using basketball to combat knife crime.


In a letter to Anthony, the Prime Minister wrote: “Sport has a fantastic power to change lives. By founding Carry A Basketball Not A Blade [CABNAB] you have given young people a safe place to be and are raising awareness of the dangers they face if they choose to carry a knife.

“Through your hard work and dedication you are making our communities stronger and our country a better place. On behalf of the whole country, I hope this Points of Light Award can be a small way of saying thank you.”

Over the past six years, the unique CABNAB sessions, which incorporate mentoring talks from NASSA coaches about the dangers of knife crime and gang culture, have reached 15,000 young people across east London.

It’s official – Coach Chris is the UK’s best community coach!

November 2014 – NASSA Head Coach Chris Facey was named as the Community Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards 2014.


Chris received his trophy from HRH Princess Anne, The Princess Royal in front of the UK’s leading sports coaches at the City Chambers in Glasgow. He later returned to the stage and was given a standing ovation as he picked up a special runner-up trophy in the overall Coach of Year category, beaten only by Gary Street, who led England to their Women’s Rugby Union World Cup triumph.

Chris said: “I didn’t think I was anywhere close to winning the award. They called out my name and I didn’t hear it really. It was called out two or three times and I said: ‘Me?’ I was very emotional. I don’t know how I held myself together. Community Coach of the Year in the UK? I wasn’t trying to run in any race, I was just given a job to do. And I realised that if I wanted to better the kids, I had to better myself in a certain way. I’m overjoyed and I’m coming back to work even harder now.”

NASSA coaches honoured at London Sports Awards

June 2014 – The dedication of NASSA coaches Chris Facey and Aurimas Verbukas was recognised at the Lee Valley VeloPark, formerly the Olympic Velodrome, on a stunning evening of success for NASSA.

Both earned top honours at the London Awards for Sport & Physical Activity 2014 organised by London Sport, The Sport and Physical Activity Partnership for London. Chris was named as Coach of the Year, while Aurimas picked up the Volunteer of the Year award. Each of them beat stiff competition in their respective categories to earn a well-deserved reward for all of their tremendous hard work at NASSA over the previous 12 months.

NASSA also received an Honourable Mention in the Community Sport Project of the Year category.

DSC Social Change Awards 2013 – Runner-up, Everyday Impact – Long Term Enterprises category

NASSA was named as runner-up in the prestigious DSC Social Change Awards 2013. We were recognised in the ‘Everyday Impact – Long Term Enterprises’category at the awards ceremony in central London.


NASSA founder Natasha Hart collected the runner-up award at the ceremony. She was presented by DSC’s Chief Executive Debra Allcock Tyler and guest speaker Alex Swallow, Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition, with a specially commissioned cartoon drawn by Private Eye cartoonist Grizelda.