Former Chelsea and England footballer Dennis Wise presented a new minibus to the Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) this week.

The gift was presented on behalf of the DW and Frankham Consultancy Group Trust as the academy celebrated ten years since its first informal basketball game.

At the event, held at the University of East London’s SportsDock, were NASSA founder and chief executive Natasha Hart, head coach Chris Facey and the Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko.

Dennis said: “Everything we do is for kids, so that was an important factor. We normally donate minibuses to special needs kids and Down’s Syndrome kids, but we know that Natasha has been trying for a long, long time to help the situation at NASSA.

The new minibus, presented by Dennis Wise

“As a group, we looked at it and we felt it was a good cause. Coming here today, seeing the bus and all of the kids, as well as seeing Chris the coach, who’s fantastic, you can see it’s going to be a worthy cause. We’re really pleased that we have done this today. Good luck to them all.

“It’s lovely to be part of the NASSA family now. Natasha’s invited us to come back in September for their 10-year anniversary event. If I’m around, I’d love to pop back to say ‘Hi’ and make sure that there are no dents in the bus.”

Natasha added: “We cannot say thank you enough to Dennis and everyone at the Frankham Group Charitable Trust. This minibus will make a huge difference to NASSA and to all of the players’ parents who have spent so much money over the years helping us take the teams to games.

“It is a really special feeling that they thought of us as worthy of receiving one of their minibuses and we will always have a smile on our faces when we see their name on it.”