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

18:20

There are severe delays on services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield after an incident at Goodmayes station.

London

West Ham fans wearing team colours have been banned from drinking after matches at the Crate Brewery, situated across the Lee Navigation canal from the Hammers’ new London Stadium.

London
16:16

Teams of young drivers took part in a go-karting challenge that raised £13,500 for charity.

Named after the man who is arguably east London’s most famous sporting son, the Bobby Moore Academy will welcome its first students next year – and headteacher Stuart Burns is already excited.

Elizabeth Olympic

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

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

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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