Search

Three Newham heroes honoured in Queen’s Birthday list

15:20 15 June 2015

Linda Strachan and Natasha Hart at Lister Community School in Plaistow with members of the junior and senior fencing team (Rachael Shaw (16), Issa Koudou (15), Jalal Tarankil (16), Adil Abdi (12), Lewis Taunton (12), Mohamed Hussain (12)).

Linda Strachan and Natasha Hart at Lister Community School in Plaistow with members of the junior and senior fencing team (Rachael Shaw (16), Issa Koudou (15), Jalal Tarankil (16), Adil Abdi (12), Lewis Taunton (12), Mohamed Hussain (12)).

Archant

Two long-serving heroines of community sport and a young cadet leader have been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday list.

PC Robert Sewell (aged 24), who has just become a Police Constable.PC Robert Sewell (aged 24), who has just become a Police Constable.

Natasha Hart, founder of Newham All Star Sports Academy, was awarded an MBE for her services to sport in east London, while former Olympian Linda Strachan, founder of Newham Swords Fencing Club, has been given a BEM, also for services to community sport.

The borough stalwarts are joined by 24-year-old volunteer cadet unit leader Robert Sewell who picked up a BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to young people and the community in Newham.

Natasha, 46, who set up the basketball academy in 2005 and pioneered the Carry A Basketball Not A Blade campaign, said she was “really shocked” to have been awarded the Member of the British Empire award, adding: “I wasn’t expecting anything like that.

“It’s a huge honour – it’s absolutely fantastic. What can I say, I don’t think you can get bigger than that really.

Natasha Hart at Lister Community School in Plaistow.Natasha Hart at Lister Community School in Plaistow.

“It’s my name on the award but it’s for everyone, for the players, all those young people that we saw through these 10 years, all the coaches and volunteers and my family, especially my mum, who have been so supportive.”

Former Olympic fencer Linda, 53, established the fencing club 10 years ago.

Starting out with few resources, today the club is run across several locations across the borough and boasts more than 70 fencers, including some of the best in Britain for their age groups.

“My first reaction was one of disbelief,” she said on opening the letter from “Her Majesty’s Service” that told her of the award. The next thing I thought was ‘oh God, I have got to get a frock’.

Linda Strachan at Lister Community School in Plaistow.Linda Strachan at Lister Community School in Plaistow.

“It just hasn’t sunk in yet . It’s just lovely to be on the list.”

“I have been to a couple of Olympic Games – marching around the stadium is a great honour, but I think this is up there with representing Great Britain at the Olympics. It’s a huge honour to get it.”

She added: “I just carry on and do the things that I do – I love working with kids as a full-time PE teacher. This is about giving something back. It’s important for the great work being done in community sport by those who haven’t been recognised.”

Robert, who took up a full-time role as a Met police constable in November last year, said he had to read his letter “several times while shaking” before he could take it in.

“As soon as I got it I was overwhelmed with emotion,” he said, adding: “I feel really proud and I’m proud to be a part of the cadets. Joining at 14 gave me the life and leadership skills I needed to become a police officer.”

He said he hoped the award would show others that “with dedication, aspiration and inspiration you can achieve anything you want to”.

Latest Newham News Stories

35 minutes ago

The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, officially marked the completion of 17 new homes by laying the final bricks.

Robin
14:16

The London Stadium has been embroiled in yet another episode of violence at a football game.

Met Police
12:00

Danish actress and first-time author, Marie Tourell Søderberg, is launching her debut book on Sunday.

London

It’s official: Canning Town is one of the most festive places in the country.

Canning Town

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Read more

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now