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!

The 'Politics of Sport' Updates from SajeImpact

Posted: Thu, 07 May 2015 18:57

The 'Politics of Sport' Updates from SajeImpact

The 'Politics of Sport' Updates from SajeImpact

As the polls close at 10pm on 7th May SajeImpact will be tweeting and blogging for the following 48 hours as the form the next government takes shape..

Andy Reed will be tweeting from @andyjreed_obe and blogging live on throughout the night. Links are available on this website.

Andy said "I hope to bring a little sense of what is happening and what this might mean for the people, groups and organisations I work with and serve."

"Clearly this looks like one of the most difficult elections to call and even when we know the outcome we may not know what this means for who forms the next government!"

"We will be looking at the winners and losers and if the key people who have championed sport, recreations physical activity and international development issues are returned. It will be a fascinating week ahead"

Tags: Ge2015, Labour, Lib Dem, Tory

Highlighting a "Charity A Day" in June

Posted: Mon, 04 May 2015 11:16

Highlighting a "Charity A Day" in June

Highlighting a

From the 1st June I will be starting a new series on this website highlighting many of the charities and organisations I support, where I sit on the Board or simply work with. There are always details via links on this site to the numerous organisations but I want to bring them to life with stories and examples of what they do with a bit more colour and detail.

You can find out about the people we have worked with formally at SajeImpact here.

I volunteer for a wide range of bodies which are all listed here

And there are the miscellaneous one-off events, people and organisations I am happy and keen to promote.

If you are one of the organisations I have worked with over the years and would like a 'plug' drop me a line and I will include an article.

In the meantime I am finishing my series on the election over at my Tumblr account I have tried to blog every day on the major stories, themes and get behind the spin. Hopefully it has been helpful for all my friends who are not as politically nerdy as me!

So as a nice relief from following the election campaign we can share our values here at SajeImpact.

Tags: NGOs, charity, sajeimpact, tumblr

Special Olympics Fundraiser - Downton Abbey Special

Posted: Wed, 29 Apr 2015 19:53

Special Olympics Fundraiser - Downton Abbey Special

Special Olympics Fundraiser - Downton Abbey Special

"You are cordially invited to attend an intimate cabaret performance from the cast of internationally acclaimed period drama Downton Abbey in the sumptuous surroundings of the Landmark Hotel, Marylebone.

The evening is raising funds for the Special Olympics Great Britain to transform the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities through sport."

This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for any abody who loves the TV drama to enjoy a personal evening with the cast and to raise funds for a great cause.

If you are interested in attending, taking a table or just offering an amazing raffle/ auction prize for the Special Olympics I would love to hear from you and I will make sure you are put in touch with the team from SOGB.

I love serving on the Board of SOGB and like all charities times are tough financially so all help would be appreciated!

Tags: Downton Abbey, Fundraising, Special Olympics

Ignite Fundraiser with Paul kerensa

Posted: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:43

Ignite Fundraiser with Paul kerensa

Ignite Fundraiser with Paul kerensa

On the 13th June Award Winning comedian Paul Kerensa will be in Loughborough for a fundraising evening at St Peter's Church Loughborough.

"Exiled Cornishman Paul Kerensa has established himself as one of British comedy's leading talents, both as a writer and a comedian. As a stand-up, he's known as a likeable, intelligent and creative comic, ever since winning ITV's Take The Mike Award in 2002, and becoming a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards & The Daily Telegraph Open Mic Awards the same year. He is one of the writers for "Not Going Out" and "Miranda" (both on BBC One) and "Dead Ringers" (BBC Two). He also is a regular contributor on Pause For Thought (BBC Radio 2). Also, he has appeared at London's Comedy Store, The Edinburgh Fringe, Montreal Comedy Festival and many more."

You can book your tickets online –

Tags: Ignite, Openheaven, Paul Kerensa

Reed reappointed to Sport & Recreation Alliance Board

Posted: Sat, 18 Apr 2015 12:11

Reed reappointed to Sport & Recreation Alliance Board

Reed reappointed to Sport & Recreation Alliance Board

Andy Reed was re-appointed to serve a further 3 years on the Board of the Sport and Recreation Alliance this week. Two further Board positions were filled by election and Andy will be joined by Brendon Batson OBE and Jane Bateman.

Andy said "I am really pleased to be able to continue serving on the Board for another period. Hopefully much of what I wanted to achieve with the organisation as Chair is starting to fall into place. We have new leadership, modernised our governance, driven to diversify our income streams and with great support from our members where we are driving to improve standards of service. Our relationship with our key stakeholders and Ministers is continually improving because of the quality of the work and campaigns we are leading. Our Ministers To-do List and the Mental Health Charter are recent examples. Moving forward we are becoming a thought leader in the sports landscape where I hope our work on enabling the sector to be fit for the future challenges and will have a real impact. Over the coming few years I would like to spend more of my time and effort leading this aspect of our work. I would like to thank the Board who give so much time to the organisation and to the full time team who are a pleasure to work with.

The full Press Release from the SRA is here


Results from the Alliance's board elections have been published this afternoon.

Jane Bateman from the FA and Brendon Batson OBE from the Professional Players Association topped the poll and they will begin their three-year terms of office at the end of the Alliance's AGM on 8 July. In the case of Jane Bateman, the date will denote the start of her second consecutive term of office.

Chair Andy Reed, whom the board have also reappointed as an appointed director for a further three years, believes that the elections will help to keep the organisation at the heart of a world-leading sport and recreation sector.

"Jane and Brendon will be very welcome members of the Alliance board. In Jane's case, we know that she will continue to provide sound insight and expertise drawn from her experience of working in a senior role for our biggest member, The FA. Brendon will bring with him knowledge of elite sport but also great experience of equality issues through his work with Sporting Equals. I'm looking forward to working with them both."

Jane Bateman said that she was proud to have been re-elected to the Board.

"It's a real honour to have been re-elected. With recent work like the launch of the Mental Health Charter and the publication of our Ministers To-do List, we can feel that we're making a real difference and I look forward to supporting those efforts over the next three years."

Brendon Batson commented,

"I'm joining an organisation that feels like it is on the up. I've seen first-hand the way the Alliance works through the PPF's membership of the organisation and I thought that it was something I wanted to be part of. I'm really pleased to have been elected and I can't wait to get started in July."

Andy Reed also thanked those board members who would be leaving the board in three months' time, following the AGM

"John Bell and John Boyd have been excellent servants of the Alliance and its membership throughout their time on the board and I hope that we will continue to benefit from their expertise for some time yet. John Boyd continues to be chair of our biggest division, for example, and we will want to make sure that we still have access to John Bell's expertise on local authorities."

The list of the full board can be found here.

Tags: Board elections, S&RA

Sports Think Tank Blog

Posted: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:12

Sports Think Tank Blog

Below is the text of my Blog for the Sports Think Tank:


Of course we have read every page of each manifesto but we started by searching for 'sport'. Sadly nearly all the references returned were for transport. It was hard to find the few words attributed to sport in the manifestos this time. Indeed there are very few specifics that we will be able to hold any incoming government to account.

It would be a little too easy to moan about the lack of mentions of sport in the manifestos and therefore dismiss all the work put in by organisations like the Think Tank and the various sports representative bodies like the SRA, EFDS, ASA, and YST who have all published mini manifestos ahead of the 2015 elections highlighting specific 'asks'. It would also be easy to claim this all shows there is no Olympic Legacy. However, when you look back at the manifestos and the impossible job they have to do. There is no way they outline every last detail of what a government will do in office – and to be frank I would hope they never do. In a way we don't want politics to be about micro managing the system – that for me is one of the weaknesses of the system we have where changes of Ministers (average lifespan 2.2 years) means change of direction of policy. There have been times when there have been to my knowledge specific Sports Manifestos where more detail has been set out. IN 1997 Tom Pendry launched a Labour Manifesto but then never got the job to deliver it. IN 2010 a Labour sports manifesto was launched – but of course destined for the rubbish bin once Labour lost.

So if there are not going to be hundreds of specific pledges what should we have been looking for. Well at least I would have hoped to see a central recognition for the power of sport to deliver a wide range of government policy and at least a pledge to deliver a cross departmental sports strategy for government which encompassed school, community and elite sport and its contribution to the wider physical activity agenda. If we don't know or understand why we use exchequer and lottery funding for sport we do end up with these short term initiatives. Clearly the role of other departments in this agenda will be crucial – from the obvious Public Health programme putting physical activity at the heart of a national prevention service to transport delivering an infrastructure that encourages and facilitates physical activity and to DCLG where the role of local government is vital to the work of all aspects of sport and PA.

So if we have a quick look at what is currently being promised we see it is quite light. If we go on word count the Tories have the most – but this is mainly repeating what is already happening, although there is a mention of 2 hours of PE (not a target) and some talk of bringing US franchises like the NFL to the UK.

Ben Rumbsy from the Telegraph eloquently describes the sum total of sport mentions;

Labour, which was first to launch its manifesto, makes what appears an identical commitment. But it has been far more radical in its flagship policy announcement, the headline feature of which was actually unveiled by its shadow sports minister last year.

Legislating to make it a requirement for football clubs to offer fans both stock and a seat around the boardroom table would be a bold move and one that may prove easier said than done. If it does succeed, the manifesto suggests it will be rolled out in other sports.

Not featured in the manifesto, but a possible Labour government policy, is the introduction of sports betting rights, something that would give governing bodies the power to decide the markets that are offered by bookmakers.

The most eye-catching proposal in the manifesto of the Liberal Democrats relates to safe standing, a cause célèbre of its spokesman for sport. The party says it would require the Sports Ground Safety Authority to prepare guidance under which such areas could be introduced at English grounds.

Also interesting is what it calls "social prescribing" of sport to help tackle obesity, mental health problems and other health conditions, something that is also behind its commitment to "opening up more sports facilities and building more cycle routes".

The Green party echoes the Conservatives' pledge to boost participation in sport by women – but makes the same promise when it comes to ethnic minorities and the disabled. And for those who feel that two hours of PE in schools is not enough to tackle Britain's obesity crisis, the Greens' commitment to "at least a half-day equivalent of sport" may prove a vote winner, as could its desire to see school sports facilities opened up to the wider community.

And then there is Ukip. You might assume that Nigel Farage's party would promise to slap a ban on English clubs playing any foreign players in the Premier League. No. But he does want to abolish the entire Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Let us hope he does not end up holding the balance of power

I would add that perhaps the Plaid Cymru manifesto so far has the most coherent mentions of Sport – although still of course far from perfect.

So our job over the next 5 years is to ensure we get evidence based interventions and make the case for sport to be funded because of it enormous economic and social contribution to UK PLC!

Tags: Election 2015, Manifesto, Sport

Manifesto Watch

Posted: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:30

Manifesto Watch

Manifesto Watch

Blog from Andy Reed

As part of our work at SajeImpact we get to be policy wonks at this part of the election cycle. We are amongst that small minority of people that actually look forward to the publications of the party manifestos – download them and read them. (Gone are the days of waiting for them to appear at WH Smith)

Of course our main focus is what these manifestos mean for sport and I have been blogging more generally on what the polls and campaigns mean for government of the UK for the next 5 years on my Tumblr account. I hope you find these useful. They may give a slight insight into the thinking and spinning going on during the election.

I am also going to blog in a little more detail on the specifics of the sports elements of the manifestos on my other website at The Sports Think Tank where we have been doing a little more monitoring and trying to generate more discussion.

It is becoming more apparent that sport, recreation and Physical activity are going to have to work a lot harder and smarter in the next parliament to demonstrate their contribution to society in a time of continued austerity (despite this appearing to be a election of freebies from the magic money tree – even the Tories have promised £35bn of unfunded commitments).

This is where SajeImpact will be helping and in partnership with our various other partners. Making smarter and more informed interventions in the political process to make sure we don't get lost in the noise of post election bartering. Our case remains strong, but delivering it will have to change. We are here to help. Please get in touch to talk about what we can do for you.

Tags: Ge2015, Labour, Lib Dem, Tory

CASC Changes Published

Posted: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:56

CASC Changes Published

CASC Changes Published

Thanks to the SRA for this update:-

HMRC has released its guidance on the upcoming changes to the Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) Scheme. The changes are due to come into effect from 1 April 2015.

The Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) Scheme was introduced in April 2002. It allows local amateur sports clubs to register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and benefit from a range of tax reliefs, including Gift Aid.

As of 1 April 2015 a number of changes will be made to the CASC scheme, there will also be an increase in the tax exemptions for property and trading income.

The changes

As a CASC you won't pay tax on:

trading profits if your turnover is less than £50,000 a year (£30,000 before 1 April 2015)
income of up to £30,000 a year from renting out property (£20,000 before 1 April 2015)

Income condition

There's no longer a limit on the amount of trading income you can earn from members. The new income condition means that CASCs can't earn more than £100,000 a year from:

  • trading with non-members
  • property income

Payments to players

CASCs can pay players as long as they don't pay more than £10,000 in total to all their players in a single year.

Membership costs

There are new limits on fees and costs associated with membership:

Fees can't be more than £31 a week (£1,612 a year)
If your club's costs associated with members are more than £10 a week you must provide help, for example a discount to reduce those costs to £10 a week for people who can't pay more.


Clubs can pay expenses for some matches and tours where players take part in and promote the club's sport.

At least 50% of a club's members must participate in sport at the club.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have published detailed guidance explaining how the new rules work. It's important that you read this to check whether your club meets the rules.

For clubs who comply with the new rules, there is no action that needs to be taken. For clubs that don't yet comply with the rules, the deadline set to become compliant is 1 April 2016.

For more information about CASC and the changes please contact our policy team.

You can also read the latest blog from Leigh Thompson, Policy Adviser at the Alliance on the matter.


The Problem with Rugby?

Posted: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:33

The Problem with Rugby?

The Problem with Rugby?

The shock 'resignation' of Debbie Jevans the CEO of ER2015 last Friday has once again opened up a series of questions about who really runs the RFU and what 'politics' hide behind every decision.

I was taken to task last week on a Facebook post for suggesting once again that the RFU Council needs reform "as they all know far more about rugby than I ever will". Of course this both misses the point, but also reinforces the problems that Jevans will have come across and put so well in the Gavin Mears article in the Telegraph today.

As a current player (Birstall RFC since 1979 & C&Lds since 1997) past President (10 years) as well as various committees and inquiries I am not sure how much more I need to know and understand before my views count. But this is the problem. Service length still seems a requirement and in the general sense this is what the reforms I am trying to lead at the SRA are about – having the right skills not the length of service being the main criteria. Yes you need some experience and corporate memory but not I would suggest an entire Board or committee. The danger for me and I have seen this all too often as I get involved in the RWC Legacy Group is that committee members all too often look backwards to some glory days – rather than making our sport fir for the future. At the age of 50 I can add something and I keep up to date with future trends for work, pleasure and academic interest. Looking backwards is not an option even for Rugby!

Over time the truth will come out about the circumstances surrounding DJs leaving ER2015. Nobody believes an easily recognised crisis comms piece of work and 'personal circumstances'. To be fair the fact that 4 days into the story and the facts have not emerged as a god sign of the progress made since I was part of the Blackett Inquiry into the removal of John Steele as CEO in 2010. At that time one of our main findings and recommendation was to end the leak culture that was destroying the RFU and it reputation. I am impressed at the discipline shown so far. As far as I know most requests for information on and off the record have been referred to the press team!

Much of what appears in the Telegraph article runs true for me. There is a two way tension of the rugby old guard wanting this RWC to be theirs and the 2012 outriders wanting to create another Olympic style success for rugby in the autumn. Personally I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. If we want to carry on as a sport we have to grow outside our current demographics and just appealing to more of the same rugby audience won't help us grow the game. That's why I support the concepts they are bringing to the RWC and trying to engage the whole nation – not just rugby players & fans. There have been times I have felt they have lost some of the essence of rugby in what they are trying to do but I see this as part of a wider strategy for the long term health of my game – the game I love.

I have witnessed the meetings where the Council and CBs moan about the 'RFU' as though it was some other being – rather than the members realising they 'are' the RFU. I have also witnessed some of the worst and most immature behaviour I have ever seen in my professional adult life – and I was in politics for 20 years! I am afraid the culture of administration, entitlement and conservatism is slowly destroying the game. The current crop won't see the fruits of their endeavour. It is a slow decline but it is happening.

I had another look at the Slaughter & May governance report over the weekend and then saw how many of these proposals have been watered down or rejected. I am afraid none of us at grass-roots level can justify a Council of 60+ members and the costs associated with running this group and the privileges they enjoy. I don't yet know the true costs but figures of £1-1.5m are banded about. I have heard that Committees have to be created to generate enough work to justify their existence. I have witnessed a depressing level of incompetence at CB level as well as at Council. I am afraid the governance of the RFU still leaves so much to be desired despite recent improvements in the Executive team and the changes at Board level.

In the build up to the RWC I hope the focus on continuing modernisation of governance will not be lost. Certainly once this RWC is out of the way I will want to see voices clamouring for more change and for it to be much faster. The world is changing and so should we. I am happy to add my voice to anybody calling for change and the reform of Council and CBs.

Tags: ER2015, RFU, rugby

Election Blog Service

Posted: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:11

Election Blog Service

Election Blog Service

Throughout the 2015 General Election I will be running a micro blog over at my Tumblr account. I want to capture the key issues of the day and my take as a past candidate to add some colour and light to what is happening – translating campaigning into what it really means!

Andy said "I have been a candidate in elections since 1987 at various levels and now I am outside (although never completely outside) the political bubble I can see a little better why and how these campaigns don't resonate with the electorate. I may be able to decipher what is being said and give some inside tips!

The blog can be found on Tumblr

Tags: Ge2015, Labour, Lib Dem, Tory

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