Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA), a charity partner of Tate & Lyle Sugars for over 14 years, engages disadvantaged young people across east London to play basketball in a fun and safe environment. Sessions include mentoring talks, educating the young people on the dangers of knife crime and gang culture, and the opportunity to gain basketball coaching, officiating, and first aid qualifications.
In 2008, NASSA set up the ‘Carry a Basketball, Not a Blade’ initiative — CABNAB for short. It was created by NASSA player Anthony Okereafor after the tragic deaths of two of his friends from knife crime within weeks of each other.
CABNAB is an education programme teaching young people about the dangers of knife crime, delivered during basketball sessions. It has been developed in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and is now delivered in all NASSA’s club and schools programmes, reaching over 2,000 children and young people in Newham each year.
Tate & Lyle Sugars recently supported CABNAB’s 15-year anniversary celebration at an event held at London’s City Hall. The “CABNAB 15th Anniversary — The Next 100,000” event showcased talks from some of the young people who have been educated by NASSA on the dangers of knife crime, county lines activity and gang culture since CABNAB was set up in 2008.
The need for CABNAB was reinforced by Anthony in an impassioned speech about the realities that knife crime continues to present in east London.
“Three young people have died in the past week alone. The number of knife crime incidents went down, but the problem hasn’t gone away as we have seen this week. The need for CABNAB is as strong as ever.” Anthony Okereafor
Members of the east London business community, former NASSA players and parents of young people supported by NASSA also heard speeches from NASSA Patron Rt Hon Sir Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, London Assembly Committee Member Unmesh Desai, and Darwin Bernardo of the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit.