Blog & News from SajeImpact - Tags: DCMS

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!

Tags: DCMS

Government to Get Tough on Governance

Posted: Fri, 13 May 2016 18:59

Government to Get Tough on Governance

Andy Reed writes Sports Think Tank Comment

Government to Get Tough on Governance

This week saw the publication of a Charter for Sports Governance in the United Kingdom. Good governance has been at the heart of DCMS sport policy for some time but the new government strategy has signalled a stronger adherence will be required to secure public money.

Although the SRA Code of Good Governance has been used as a guideline for good practise it has taken specific measurement on some measures to get NGBs in receipt of public funding to take some of the issues – particularly around diversity – seriously.

Good governance shouldn't be just about 'compliance' it should be at the heart of the culture of sport and recreation and because it makes good business sense. Good governance helps organisations to achieve the best outcomes and by driving organisational excellence and integrity. Although many of the high profile failures over the last year or so have been on the international scene we should not be complacent about the record of many sporting bodies in the UK.

The charter is a precursor to the more thorough unified governance code which we expect to be published in the Autumn. Today's charter includes nine broad themes, covering a wide range of areas including:

· Transparency

· Integrity

· Financial probity

· Leadership and decision making

· Membership

· Independence of thought

· Diversity

· Culture

· Sport England and UK Sport commitments

On the same day of the launch we were at the launch of Sporting Equals campaign to highlight the under representation of the BAME community in sport – especially at coaching, management and Board levels in our sport bodies.

Whilst there is always agreement that 'more needs to be done' there has generally been a failure to genuinely take the actions necessary. Indeed at the event the meeting of MPs, Lords and Sporting Equals supporters was mixed in its response to the possibility raised in the Charter for SE & UKsport to introduce targets for Board membership for BAME and disability in the same way they have for gender in the current funding settlements. The idea of a Rooney Rule (from the NFL) also created a difference of opinion. We think the Charter and the Code give us the ideal opportunity to start a revolution in our recruitment to our Boards to reflect the communities they serve. And it isn't just management and Boards but the Councils of some of our NGBs are even more unrepresentative of the wider community and even of their own sports! It is time to act here too.

Modern governance is a must if NGBs are to be in receipt of public funding. We fully support this drive to change the landscape and at a much faster pace. We like the language being used by government – where the Secretary of State has once again threatened the FA to modernise or lose its funding. The old guard have a role – but not running a modern national governing body competing in the modern world.

We will support the government in being radical in an approach to improved governance. The world is changing fast and sport needs to catch up quickly.

Tags: Dcms, Sport England, Sports Governance, Uksport

Details of 'CSP Review'

Posted: Tue, 08 Mar 2016 18:37

Details of 'CSP Review'

Details of 'CSP Review'


I am pleased to confirm that I have been asked by DCMS to lead the review of CSPs as outlined in the Government Sport & Physical Activity Strategy. Details of the review, terms of reference and timetable will be made available later this week. I will also be outlining how you can contribute to the consultation and how I will engage with the widest number of stakeholders possible before coming to any conclusions. I am looking forward to working with the sector in helping design a system that matches the outcomes set out in the new strategy.

Andy Reed OBE
March 2016

Tags: DCMS, csp, csp review, cspn, sport england

SAPCA to Work with Saje Impact

Posted: Mon, 11 Jan 2016 10:39

SAPCA to Work with Saje Impact

SAPCA to Work with Saje Impact

SAPCA (The Sports and Play Construction Association ) is the latest organisation to start working with Saje Impact as it looks to raise its profile and marketing offer to its members by engaging with its external stakeholders.

SAPCA – the trade association that represents businesses committed to raising the quality standards of all sports, physical activity, recreation and play facilities that are designed, built and maintained across the UK.

They help funders, owners, operators and users avoid the hoops, hurdles and high jumps of sport facility funding, construction, management and development.

With over 250 corporate members all have a direct involvement in the development of sports and play facilities – from contractors, manufacturers and suppliers to consultants, test laboratories, sports governing bodies and related organisations.

Andy Reed said "Our sports sector is so wide and varied and sometimes some important elements get left out of decision making and funding. Sports Businesses make a great contribution to the sector and to the British economy and I am looking forward to working with SAPCA in raising the standards of construction in the sector as policy increasingly understands the needs for greater and modern facilities as part of the good sports mix for consumers. I am also keen to help the sector innovate around new technology and the integration of new ideas

With the Governments new sports strategy and a great focus from NGBs on facilities this is a good time for a better partnership in the sector with SAPCA.

Tags: DCMS, Funding, SAPCA, Sport England, construction, sport

New Sports Policy Imminent?

Posted: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:06

New Sports Policy Imminent?

New Sports Policy Imminent

For those of us interested in sports policy it is an exciting time! With the imminent publication of a Green Paper from the new Sports Minister Tracey Crouch MP.

For those of us who lived through the publication of the last attempt at a strategy – Game Plan at the turn of the century we understand just how much the landscape has changed since then. As I sit here preparing a lecture for a Sports Summer School at Loughborough University this week I realise how much has changed since I delivered a similar talk in Paris in March! The digital world and the expectations of Gen Y are altering the way we do and interact with sport in this country. You will see from my previous blog over the weekend what impact I believe these advances will or could have on coaching and fitness instruction. Next week I want to look at changes in society as outlined in the Future Foundation reports for the YST, Sport and Recreation Alliance and Sport Wales.

So whilst I am really interested in the future – I am also interested in learning from the past.

"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less"
General Eric Shinseki, former chief of staff for the US Army

Although my main focus remains preparing the sport, recreation, fitness & physical activity world for the changes that are taking place I have learned from some of our great sports administrators that is was ever thus!

In preparing a lecture earlier this year I got to read the Wolfenden Report from the 1960s (sad I know), but as you can see so many of the questions faced by the Committee then are similar to those we face today. As we get older we always think there was a golden age.. but take some time to read this historical perspective and see that in so many ways nothing has changed. Despite our human form being reliant on physical activity, play and recreation we don't seem to value this properly.

This week when the Green Paper is produced I will be setting out some thoughts and reflections here at SajeImpact and with colleagues at Dissident where we hope to help the sector understand what this means for them. I will also be posting and hopefully generating discussion at the Sports Think Tank. This is where our independent think tank comes into its own. Not dominated by any sector or interest we hope to present the government with the evidence of what works – free from vested interests!

Tags: Dcms, Sports Olicy, Tracy Crouch, Wolfenden

Special Olympics £2m Funding Boost

Posted: Fri, 27 Mar 2015 09:05

As a Board member of SOGB I am delighted to finally announce DCMS have recognised the work of the Special Olympics

Special Olympics GB receives landmark £2 million government funding boost
Special Olympics Great Britain, the charity which helps children and adults with intellectual (learning) disabilities take part in year-round sports coaching and competition activities, has received a huge funding boost from the government.

Special Olympics GB currently has 150 local clubs that serve 8,000 intellectually disabled athletes with the help of its dedicated army of 4,000 volunteers across England, Scotland and Wales.

This new and historic £2 million backing will go towards supporting and improving the following important areas of Special Olympics GB's work:

Sending 115 Special Olympics GB athletes to Los Angeles to represent the country at the World Summer Games this summer which will commence with an opening ceremony held on 25th July 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – the site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games. The opening ceremony is expected to attract 80,000 spectators with the Honorary Chair of the Games being President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The event, which will run from July 25th until 2nd August 2015, will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015. It will also be the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.

· To support Special Olympics GB's National Summer Games in Sheffield in 2017. The Deputy Prime Minister will announced the investment in Sheffield (on Friday 27 March 2015). Special Olympics GB expects the Sheffield games to be the largest ever – with over 2,000 athletes expected to take part in front of 10,000 family, friends and supporters. The event is free to all members of the public.

In addition, the funding will enable the charity to significantly strengthen its current infrastructure and help create new inclusive clubs, develop competition pathways and launch an innovative new Unified Schools project which will target 25,000 new young participants over the next 3 years and provide a clear pathway for young people with ID to pursue sporting opportunities after they leave school, ensuring they remain physically active in the future.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said: "I'm immensely proud to be supporting Special Olympics GB to actively recruit, inspire and empower people with intellectual disabilities to reach for the finishing line in their favourite sport. Over a million people in the UK have an intellectual disability, and sport is a key component in helping to tackle stigma, improve health and broaden their horizons with new opportunities. I saw first-hand the benefits of the games when I met Nicholas, a Special Olympics athlete from Sheffield who went on to compete for the GB Team as an athlete in the 2014 Special Olympics European Games last year. This funding is yet another example of this government's work to build a fairer society and provide opportunity for everyone. After successfully staging the Tour De France, Sheffield will build on that legacy by hosting the Special Olympics National Summer Games, and will cement our city's proud reputation as a centre of sporting excellence, boosting tourism and bringing thousands of visitors to the area."
Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: "Britain has a great tradition of supporting disability sport, delivering the most successful Paralympics ever at London 2012. I'm committed to ensuring that more people than ever enjoy the benefits of sport. This funding will ensure the Special Olympics continues to go from strength to strength both in Los Angeles and Sheffield."
CEO of Special Olympics GB, Karen Wallin said: " I want to sincerely thank the Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Secretary for their recognition of and investment in, our life changing sports programme. Special Olympics GB has a vision to ensure that it becomes the recognised leader in the provision of sport to all people with intellectual disabilities and allowing them to achieve their full potential in life through meaningful inclusion. We are committed to driving positive actions for young disabled people in sport within both education and community settings and we have set ourselves an ambitious goal to ensure that our infrastructure and programmes have the ability to reach every child and young person with intellectual disabilities in Great Britain by 2018. The investment received today from government will ensure that we achieve this goal and more."
Notes for editors:
There are an estimated 1.5 million people (2% population) with an intellectual (learning) disability in Great Britain. The year-round sport provided by Special Olympics is important to people with learning disabilities because adults and children with intellectual disabilities tend to have poorer health and the many emotional and physical problems associated with inactivity. One in three people with an intellectual disability is obese, compared to 1 in 5 of the general population.

Recent government funded research shows marked differences in the life expectancy of people with intellectual disabilities. Men with intellectual disabilities die on average 13 years earlier than men without disability, whilst the figure for females is a staggering 20-year disparity. This research also shows that 1,200 people with learning disability die unnecessarily prematurely each year due to inadequate regular medical care and lack of an annual health check.

Special Olympics can help this huge issue by ensuring people with an intellectual disability are kept within an inclusive social community network which can identify health problems and issues by their coaches and club members. Special Olympics GB is working hard with medical experts to address these issues through our sports training and competition – a key programme called 'Healthy Athletes' makes health checks available to our athletes at key competitions.

Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities opportunities to increase their confidence; realise their potential; develop physical fitness and mental wellbeing; demonstrate courage and experience new friendships.

Special Olympics GB (SOGB) is part of a global organisation that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition to 4.4 million children and adults with intellectual (learning) disabilities in almost 200 countries. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of the late President John F Kennedy, Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities opportunities to realise their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience friendship.

Special Olympics is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the third member of the Olympic family. It is the only sports organisation authorised by the IOC to use the word 'Olympics' in its title.

Special Olympics GB is supported by annual partners – Premier Partner; National Grid Plc, Official Partners; Coca-Cola Great Britain, ABB, Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd.

For Press Enquiries or more information please contact:

Chris Hull Communications Director, Special Olympics GB
MOB 07713193927

Tags: board, dcms, special Olympics

The Great Outdoors

Posted: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:16

The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

One of the best things about Chairing the Sport and Recreation Alliance has been to get to know and understand the interests of our 320 members who cover sport, outdoors recreation, water recreation, movement & dance, fitness and even mind games.

Yesterday we spent the day with 3 Ministers – DCMS, Health and DEFRA – all encouraging the Outdoor sector to work with government to create a coherent strategy for making even better use of our natural environment for increasing sport and physical activity participation. There was a wide range of partners and agencies all enthusing about the contribution our outdoor economy/ spaces make to our health & well being as well as being a £29bn a year economic driver (Reconomics report).

For those of us who play traditional team sports there is nothing quite like the buzz that comes from being a part of a team. However, I have come to appreciate even more the sense of wellbeing and the sheer physical activity benefits of the informal sector – much of it outdoors in our natural environment. The Reconomics Report sets this all out and the work that we have been doing with Sport England and the Outdoor Industries Association on the insight means we can take this a stage further over the coming years – integrating education, transport and a health strategy.

As always one of my concerns is to ensure accessibility for a wide range of socio-economic groups and questions yesterday to the Manager at Richmond park showed more thought needs to go into getting a wide r range of users from different backgrounds to enjoy the benefits of walking and cycling and enjoying multiple sports and activities in our great outdoors. But it can be done and I am looking forward to helping promote the case!

Tags: SRA, dcms, helen grant mp, reconomics

Implications of the Autumn Statement

Posted: Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:32

Implications of the Autumn Statement

Implications of the Autumn Statement

The Autumn Statement just before an election takes a little more reflection than at other times during the electoral cycle as the spin tends to be a little heavier.

Whilst the Chancellor got is Stamp Duty headlines in much of the press today, a more serious look at the figures behind the headlines sets out the real challenges ahead for our sport and recreation sector.

A rather neat summary of the situation can be found over at the Sport and Recreation Alliance - a blog from Leigh Thompson sets out some oft he figures and poses the right questions.

There is of course a political choice to be made ahead of the next election but it does seem as though the Greens will be the only ones entering the election rejecting the need for austerity measure beyond what has been achieved to date.

The headlines generated today suggested that 60% of the cuts necessary to balance the books will be required in the next parliament. Indeed the details from the Treasury and the OBR back this up, although with next to no detail about how this will be achieved and by which departments.

We already know from Labour and the Tories the protection given to the NHS and the commitment to our International Development budget to meet our 0.7% promise.

In the last round of cuts DCMS did better than many others – probably because of the disproportionate effect of cuts on what is a rather small budget in overall government spending figures. The department received only a 5% cut and much of sport was protected – including the funding for the Rio Cycle at UKSport as part of the 'No Compromise' programme. This is not to say sport, recreation and leisure were unaffected. As I have argued passionately for years – we should not just look to DCMS. We should spend even more time with our eye on Local Government (DCLG), Health and Justice budgets where sport and leisure probably receive greater support than the £135m from DCMS and the £250m from Sport England and the lottery as the graph above shows.

I don't there will be a full escape for sport in the next round of cuts from DCMS if the plan is solely to reduce the benefit from cuts rather than growing revenues! We need to be aware and vigilant of the consequences. However, I also think much more emphasis should be given to the enomous pressures on Local Government budgets. As with the national budget there is great pressure anyway because of the costs of adult and child social welfare costs even on a generous budget. Factor in 20-3-40% cuts and we are heading for a point in the near future where there is virtually no discretionary spend locally for sport and leisure even if Councils wanted to invest in wellbeing.

This leaves the lottery and Health & Wellbeing Boards with money to invest in sport if the current trends are maintained. It looks tough for the rest of this decade whilst political parties tie themselves to austerity as the solution to the current difficulties they face.

Tags: Autumn Statement, Dcms, Finances, Treasury

Planning Law Changes - Sport wins Protection

Posted: Tue, 27 Mar 2012 16:31

Government's new National Planning Policy Framework is a big win for sport and recreation

Sport and recreation facilities will now be protected from builders and developers thanks to welcome changes made to the National Planning Policy Framework, released today.

The Government has listened to calls from the Sport and Recreation Alliance for areas of the draft Framework to be reworded or else risk significantly weakening the protection of open spaces and recreational facilities, including playing fields.

The Alliance has been the public voice of a broad coalition of sporting bodies, all joining forces to express concerns that the Government's initial plan which would have allowed developers to build on playing fields if the 'benefits outweighed the loss'.

The Alliance argued that the wording of the draft Framework would have led to a steady erosion of facilities and undermined investment into vital grassroots sports programmes, including the current Olympic legacy projects.

But the changes ministers have proposed now mean that the default position will be to protect valuable sports facilities and playing fields, as developers must provide an alternative facility if the decision is taken to build on an existing one.

It also means that planning authorities will have the confidence to create plans to ensure there are sufficient sport and recreation facilities to meet the needs of local communities.

Andy Reed, Chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance said:

"The changes provide a welcome boost for sport and recreation in this Olympic year, and we are delighted that the Government has worked with the sector to provide a solution that strikes the balance between the need for economic growth and that of sport and physical activity.

"Both the Minister for Sport and the Minister for Communities and Local Government have listened to the concerns of grassroots sport and we thank them for creating an approach which allows for development only where the sporting needs of the community are protected."

For further information about the new planning system download the Alliance's NPFF briefing note.

Contact James Stibbs, Head of Communications, on 020 7976 3930 or email:

Tags: DCMS, government, sport. planning

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