OPINION: City & East GLA member Unmesh Desai supports Newham sports


- Credit: Archant

Sport plays a huge role in bringing our community together and it’s great to see the dedication shown by Newham residents to their local clubs.

Newham Cricket Club, of which I am proud to be president, is a group sustained by dedicated volunteers. Based at Flanders Field in East Ham, where the late Bobby Moore played and after whom the pavilion is named, the club has grown substantially since its inception.

There are weekly training sessions as well and matches over the weekends and midweek. The club’s adult section competes at top level in the Essex Metropolitan League and the juniors in all major Essex Cricket Club competitions.

The club benefits from partnership working with the Bonny Downs Community Association and Essex Cricket Club, Newham Council and the English Cricket Board. There is a borough cricket development plan which reflects the growing interest in cricket in the area. Ex-England and Essex player, Ravi Bopara, played at this ground, born and schooled in East Ham, and is a role model for future generations.

There are a number of other ways to get involved (and get fit!) in Newham. Active Newham is a Leisure Trust with charitable status working in partnership with Newham Council to deliver leisure, sports and volunteering opportunities in the borough. Their mission is to support residents to become more active in their local community. Whether you want to take part in your favourite sport, organise an event in your local park, or get fit in one of their five leisure centres, they are more than happy to provide encouragements and support.

Finally, on another sporting note, I was pleased to attend the Blue Plaque unveiling ceremony in Central Park at a house where ex-West Ham United manager, Charlie Paynter, used to live. I was informed that Dame Vera Lynn was a next-door neighbour! Charlie’s family were in attendance and the family now living there made every effort to welcome them and us, representatives of the club and council. It was both an inspiring and memorable day. More from Unmesh

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