Blog & News from SajeImpact

18 Weeks and Counting

18 Weeks and Counting

I will be 55 in just 18 weeks time. For me life will be able to take another step into the next season in my life.

When this happens I am hoping to make greater use of this site for my musings on life and the world around! I have one big interview in May which might put these plans back a little bit (about 4 years) but either way there will be more time for travel and writing.

Stay tuned.


Seasons in Life - The Next one for Andy and Saje Impact

There are seasons to life I believe. Well it certainly feels like that as I start September 201Changes in 2018!8.

A number of Sport Board positions come to their natural end after several years of voluntary service - The Sport & Recreation Alliance , Special Olympic and CIMSPA . I want to thank everybody who has helped and supported me during the last 8 years since leaving Parliament (losing the election!) and welcoming me into the world of sport.

It has been another fascinating learning curve working with a sector I have passion for and trying to bring a fresh perspective and influence practise and policy. I will continue to do this but in different ways over the next 'season', mainly through The Sports Think Tank and through SAJEIMPACT LTD where I have generated a series of partnerships to bring the best people I have worked with to the sector - like David Slemen Sport:80 Services Limited . As always Loughborough University Loughborough University London will play a large part of what I do.

I will announce a few new NED positions too over the coming weeks.

I have always had a passion for my home county so I will be doing more economic growth work in Leicestershire through the LLEP too

Here is to the new season. Even if that includes retiring formally from Birstall RFC!

Changes in 2018!

Posted: Sun, 07 Jan 2018 17:59

Changes in 2018!

I am not big on doing New Years Resolutions but this year I have realised much of what I do voluntarily will be changing in 2018.

When I left Parliament in 2010 (a polite way of saying 'when I lost my seat') I had developed a passion for Sport and Physical Activity policy during my time in DCMS and the Treasury Ministerial teams. It was therefore a simple decision when I was asked by some now good friends to volunteer some of my time on various sports Boards. At the start I was pleased to join the SRA and the ASA (now Swim England) for example. I Set up Saje Impact and the Sports Think Tank to make sure I could work in the area of sport too. Both of these ventures have grown and I have had some amazing clients over the last 7 years and the company continues to grow.

It feels like I have always been involved in sport but it has largely only been the last 7 years. I arrived this short time ago as a relative outsider – but have been made to feel welcome. I have hopefully both supported and challenged the sector to make it stronger. I had been involved as Chair of the East Midlands Sports Council and was sked by Sport England to Chair the Sports Volunteering network whilst I was still an MP.

However, Good governance in sport – now formally covered by the Sports Governance Code means my time is up. In 2018 I will have to step down as Chair of Leicestershire & Rutland Sport , The Sport And Recreation Alliance, & Special Olympics GB, for example.

It seems it was about 12 years ago that the Leicestershire CSP asked me to help by chairing their Shadow Board. It is suddenly 12 years later and quite rightly the Governance Code insists I should step down. Overall this is the right thing to do. However, I am personally disappointed to be leaving at such an important time and because ironically I will have more time over the next 2-3 years to dedicate to the role! But life moves on and I will commit more time to my role on the LLEP and joining up the Sports Economy in the County. This will combine two of my passions for sport end economic development which have been a large part of my working life prior to becoming an MP.

I won't be disappearing. I will be putting more time and energy into my new role as the Senior Independent Director at CIMSPA and as Chair of SAPCA . My LinkedIn profile will change – but now you know the reason there is nothing sinister happening over 2018!

I intend to be just as busy supporting the sector but in new ways.

As I have said I will give more time to CIMSPA, SAPCA and the Sport Think Tank. My work at SajeImpact means we have a bit of a busy 18 months ahead on two major developments as well as maintaining and growing our client base.

Perhaps in 2019 I will look again at what more I can do in the sector, and specifically to help join up the various bodies and individuals who want us to be unified and fighting together instead of against each other! But unlike 2010 when I rushed into everything I will be a little more strategic about my next steps… so thanks to all those who have already offered to fill my new found spare time. I am touched and will certainly be considering them all very seriously!

Keep in touch.

Best wishes for 2018


Tags: LRS, Physical Activity, SRA, Sport

Saje Impact Site Moved

Posted: Tue, 01 Aug 2017 09:04

Saje Impact Site Moved

Saje Impact Site Moved

The site for the Business Saje Impact has moved to and this site is now an archive of the first few years of the company and now the personal site for Andy Reed OBE.

"The changes came into effect during the spring of 2017 after growth in the company meant new clients were coming on board and we needed a fresh new look for the next phase of growth" Andy said

"This now allows me to separate the personal, work and other social media. This should still be a one stop shop for all my social media and personal projects, whilst Saje Impact will be far more business orientated and client facing. I hope this helps both sites be clear in what they are trying to achieve. I am grateful for Trigger Movement in helping me make the decision and create the site!

Tags: Andy Reed, Sajeimpact

Pale Male and Stale

Posted: Sun, 21 May 2017 17:10

Pale Male and Stale

Pale Male and Stale

There are so many challenges hitting the sports sector at the moment it's difficult to keep up with one issue per month in this column! However, there is one that I am hoping will dominate Board discussions this year is governance – specifically diversity on Boards.

Sport England & UK Sport quite rightly have highlighted improved governance as a key component of improving the sports landscape and long term sustainability.

I have been on this journey since I first arrived inside sport in the 90s. At that stage, there was always a focus on the FA and the FA Council membership. It became the focus for poor governance. I was at a Select Committee hearing in December and again the dominant feature was the battle ahead between DCMS, SE and the FA over the future of the Council and its members.

But much more importantly this is much more than about the FA and RFU and other NGBS councils – even if these dominate the news agenda. Much more seriously these high-profile organisations highlight the bigger issue of lack of diversity on our Boards and senior leadership across the sector. to be fair this is not just sport problem – it is wider in society and other charities but we do seem to be even further behind.

I have been fortunate to be working with Sporting Equals for the last 18 months and specifically on their LeaderBoard project.

Sporting Equals LeaderBoard research launched in December showed that just 1% of NGB Chairs were from a BAME community with a similar proportion of CEOs. At Board level the figure is just 4%. To be honest this is disgraceful.

Loughborough University have also been covering this issue in football and coaching where we find a similarly low 4% figure – despite over 30% of players in the Premiership from BAME community

When I do talks on sport governance and Boards there is a tendency for people to want to talk about gender targets and quotas as though these are the only issues.

As Chris Grant said at the launch event sport has had to work hard to create enough barriers to keep the number so low!

Did you know that the BAME community makes up 13-14% of the population and APS shows participation rates at 17% amongst the BAME community?

We need to understand the country we live in. I was taken aback by a senior civil servant who thought 4% was about the right proportion v the number of people in parts of the country where there is little immigration believing BAME is 30-40% of the UK population. Surely if we are going to be insight led in future we should know and understand the communities where we live and who we want to serve.

And you haven't generated diversity if your BAME candidates just simply reflect many of the same cultural norms as their white colleagues. Our user base in sport is diverse. Why aren't our boards and leadership?

Fortunately, the LeaderBoard will provide help and guidance about overcoming many of the simple barriers… but don't fool yourselves that the talent is lacking. Other sectors like banking, law, and accounting where skill sets are high have levels of representation at 25% and above!

There shouldn't be a need to carry out this research to highlight the problem. We should all walk into a meeting, event or management team and recognise something is wrong when we see lots of people who all look and sound like ourselves staring back.

When trump used the excuse about 'locker room' banter we all dismissed it. But is there too much of an element of truth in what he said if we are being honest with ourselves. I know I live in the PC political world for much of my time and admit to being quite shocked at things I hear openly expressed in the sport and leisure world.

Frankly unless our Board rooms start to reflect the diversity of our population it is right we are not being publicly funded. We need to stop the group think and open ourselves up to new and fresh ideas and perspectives.


Tags: Leaderboard, Sport England, Sporting Equals

General Election Blogging

Posted: Thu, 20 Apr 2017 09:52

General Election Blogging

General Election Blogging

Well this is something I hadn't seen coming. Another general Election blogging series so soon after the #GE2015 and #EuroRef blogs. I thought May was going to call a snap election in the early spring but I though the opportunity had gone.

I will be using my Wordpress and Tumblr sites for the political blogs. You can follow them via this site from the front page. They are quite specific in nature – obviously focussed mainly on Labour and the campaign, but more importantly I enjoy taking questions and trying to help people understand what is like 'behind the scenes'. So send me your questions (sensible) and I will endeavour to cover them.

Tags: #ge2017

Moving over to

Posted: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:30

Moving over to

Moving over to

Our new Saje Impact company website is now live so this particular site will slowly transition into a personal site for Andy Reed (

The new web address for the company will be – but don't worry will take you there too.

The look and feel of the new site is more in keeping with the growth of the company and the Sajeimpact team. However, I am keen to maintain an archive of both sajeimpact through its initial growth and my time in Parliament through my last website which is also archived here.

This will still remain a one-stop shop for my twitter, wordpress and flickr updates as well as news from outside work.

Thanks for all your time visiting the site over the years.


New Website for Saje Impact Coming Soon

Posted: Thu, 26 Jan 2017 11:12

New Website for Saje Impact Coming Soon

New Website for Saje Impact Coming Soon

As the work of Saje Impact is expanding rapidly in 2017 we have taken the decision to separate out the various parts of the group & create a business specific website. This is currently under construction with one of our partners – Trigger Movement.

"As we develop the new site we probably won't be updating this one quite as often as usual so please bear with us. We have also set up a separate Sajeimpact twitter so that you can follow purely business related matters away from my rambling observations!

We will keep you updated on progress but we hope to launch in the new financial year with a series of exciting announcements about some of our expansion plans.

Tags: Sjaeimpact

Saje Impact kicks off a Bumper Year Ahead

Posted: Thu, 05 Jan 2017 17:11

Saje Impact kicks off a Bumper Year Ahead

Saje Impact kicks off a Bumper Year Ahead

We wish all our friends, colleagues and clients a Happy New Year for 2017.

As we have grown so fast in 2016 we are expanding our work and partnerships in 2017 so look out for some exciting new announcements and a brand new SajeImpact website soon!

We know that for many clients the end of 2016 with funding decisions being announced mean a tough financial climate is ahead. That's why we have teamed up with some of the best people in their fields to help you get more out of your budget.

See you all soon in 2017.

Best wishes,


Tags: Sajeimpact

Annie Zaidi awarded BEM for services to sport

Posted: Sat, 31 Dec 2016 23:58

Annie Zaidi awarded BEM for services to sport

Annie Zaidi awarded BEM for services to sport

Annie Zaidi, otherwise known as 'Coach AnnieZ' has been awarded an BEM in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for recognition of her services to sport.

Annie, 32, has transcended stereotypes about race, gender and religion to become the first female Muslim football coach in the UK. Described by David Beckham as "an inspiration to so many people", Annie's coaching portfolio includes the U21 men's team at Queens Park Rangers, the Leicester City U11 girls' team, and BME Coach Mentee at the FA. She is working towards her UEFA B coaching licence and has her sights set firmly on becoming a coach in the professional men's game.

Annie's love for the game started when she was a young girl playing football in the back garden with her brothers, and now 20 years on her passion has become her career. The BEM will add to her other recent accolades which include the 2015 Helen Rollason Award for Sport and Football Coaching, and National Ambassador for Sporting Equals, Women in Football and Football for Peace.

As a life-long Arsenal supporter, Annie's ultimate ambition is to one day become manager of the Gunners. She refers to football as her 'second religion' and has set up a Foundation helping to create more opportunities for girls and young women to realise their potential. From speaking at the Fifa Women's Football and Leadership Conference to community coaching, mentoring and school visits, Annie has become a positive role model.

The Coach AnnieZ Foundation welcomes your support to help empower, inspire and encourage the next generation of young people to achieve their goals in life.

For all enquiries, bookings and donations please contact:

Tags: FA, Leiecster city, annieZ, coaching, football

Merry Christmas from Saje Impact for 2016

Posted: Wed, 21 Dec 2016 16:07

Merry Christmas from Saje Impact for 2016

Merry Christmas from Saje Impact for 2016

As we wind down this week to close on Friday for the Christmas holiday we want to wish everybody we have worked with in 2016 a very Merry Christmas.

Each year at Saje Impact we wonder what the next year will bring our way – and it never disappoints. We are delighted to have welcomed new clients, new partners and lots of new friends and colleagues to the events, conferences, talks, lectures and engagement on social media! It has been a bit of a crazy year in our political circles – Brexit, Corbyn and Trump. But the sport has been fantastic with Leiecster City, the renewed England Team, an amazing Team GB performance in Rio and Birstall RFC promoted again!

We look forward to an exciting 2017 with a series of new projects including our work on #sportbrexit and the fantastic opportunity to shape the amazing stadium development at Scunthorpe.

We are available to clients throughout the Christmas period but re-open formally on the 6th January

Tags: Politics, Sajeimpact, Sport

Coach Annie Z Launches Foundation WebSite

Posted: Mon, 21 Nov 2016 09:49

Coach Annie Z Launches Foundation WebSite

Coach Annie Z Launches Foundation WebSite

Winner of the 2015 Helen Rollason Award for Sport and Football coach Annie Zaidi has launched her new Foundation web site this week.

The multi award winning Annie Zaidi – known affectionately as Coach AnnieZ gave up her full time career to pursue her dream to be a football coach and loves sharing the story of her journey and what she has had to overcome to reach her goals.

Her Foundation is being set up to encourage the next generation of young people to achieve their goals in life..

At the Coach AnnieZ Foundation we empower, inspire and encourage girls and young women to realise their potential.

We support them to achieve their personal, social and educational goals, and become positive role models within their communities

Through mentoring:

Become more confident talking about yourself

Realise the importance of your education

Identify your own potential & how you can achieve it

Develop tools to manage your feelings appropriately

and through community coaching

We promote health and wellbeing

We focus on physical, mental and social development

We develop life skills.

At SajeImpact and through Green and Gold we would love you to help support Annie through her journey by supporting the Foundation and her work.

If you want to see how you can help or book Annie to be involved in your work please get in touch via her new website

Annie Z Said "This is the next step on an exciting journey. I want to share my passion for coaching and inspire otehrs to do what I have done."

Les Ferdinand Said

"Annie is really confident, she's good at what she does, I've been really impressed with what I've seen so far"

Wallace Hermitt Co-founder of the Black & Asian Coach Association & Coach AnnieZ Mentor

"She's a phenomenon, I tell everyone. No one believed me that this girl is going places"

Andy Reed said. "Since the first day I met Annie I was blown away with her passion and have been delighted to help her. A big thanks to TriggerMovement too who have helped get the site off the ground and to Green and Gold who are using their expertise in setting up Foundations to get Annie established. Anie really appreciates the team behind helping her achieve her plans."


Tags: Coach, Coachanniez, Football

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