Blog & News from SajeImpact - Tags: Football

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: Football

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

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

Award Winning Annie Zaidi Joins Green and Gold

Posted: Fri, 15 Jan 2016 10:23

Award Winning Annie Zaidi Joins Green and Gold

Award Winning Annie Zaidi Joins Green and Gold

Award winning Football Coach and Sporting Equals ambassador Annie Zaidi has joined a growing list of clients at our partnership with Green and Gold.

Annie added the Neville Hamilton special award at the Leicester Mercury Sports Awards at the Leicester Tigers stadium last night to a growing list of accolades as she is increasingly recognised for her remarkable journey.

The Ground-breaking football coach Annie Zaidi also won a top accolade at the 2015 Sky Sportswomen of the Year Awards.

She was awarded the Hellen Rollason prize for inspiration at the London ceremony in December 2015.

David Beckham told the star studded event in a video message that Annie was "an inspiration to so many people".

Annie, is the only Muslim woman football coach in the east midlands.

She has overcome years of sexist and racial abuse to pursue her goals. She currently coaches the under 11s at the Leicester City Girls' of Excellence at Oadby..

But as a life-long Arsenal supporter she has her eyes set on the top coaching job at the Emirates Stadium.

Annie, 31, won the award which is named after Hellen Rollason a pioneering television sports journalist.

The citation for the award said: "Annie Zaidi is the first South Asian and Muslim woman in her region to acquire a Level 2 coaching certification badge from the Football Association.

"When she was the only female manager of a Sunday league team in her area, Zaidi endured overwhelming levels of discrimination from opposition team managers and parents. "However, despite the abuse and lack of inclusion, she did not abandon her dreams, maintaining her passion to coach football."

She has just competed her spell in West London coaching the Under 21 men's team at Queen's Park Rangers.

She sees her time with QPR as a great step towards her goal of one day becoming a coach in the professional men's game.

With the support of QPR director Les Ferdinand and the former Rangers manager Chris Ramsey, she has undertaken her UEFA B licence.

Zaidi said she coached at QPR every week and told the boys how it was really done.

She added: "I'm hoping to get my UEFA B licence done at the end of this year.

"My ultimate job in football? "Well that would be to coach the Arsenal men's team maybe."

The winner of the Sportswoman of the Year title was Jessica Ennis-Hill for winning the world heptathlon title in the summer.

Andy said "We are delighted to be working with Annie as she is an inspiration to together because of her football coaching skills and her determination to succeed in her ambitions. I am sure we will see much more of her in the years ahead in the game. Already she has a busy year ahead and we want to make sure she is available to be an inspiration but at the same time manage her time to make sure she completes her UEFA B License and completes her dream to coach at a senior level.

Tags: Annie Zaidi, Coach, Football, Leicester City FC, QPR

Football and Community Sport Conference

Posted: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:00

Football and Community Sport Conference

Andy Reed was guest speaker at Burton Albion FC this week at the Football and Community Sport Conference organised by Derby University School of Sport and Exercise

The conference looked at the role of sports trusts and community programmes at delivering coaching in the community and schools.

Andy said "It was really useful to hear and see what those delivering on the ground are seeing happen in their communities. Issues like school charging, access to facilities and working through the new primary school premium mean these programmes are continually having to adapt their funding streams. Yet we know there is so much good work going on across the country delivered by these football trusts, foundations and community programmes.

Full details of the day can be found here :

Tags: burton albion FC, community, football, sport


Posted: Thu, 13 Sep 2012 09:59

Over the years I have supported the case for another look at the Hillsborough files. I did so because there was a passion from those campaigning at the injustice that was done to a City. I saw the passion from local MPs and those like Andy Burnham MP. These were not hollow calls but a genuine plea for the truth. I will be honest that I never fully understood the level of deep anger and hurt as I'm not from the City. But yesterday the victims families seem to have got the justice they were seeking for their loved ones - but 23 years later.

Even taking a keen passing interest in the issue for a number of years I don't think I was prepared for what the panel found. I could have understood a level of incompetence. After all even emergency services are human and not ever really prepared for EVERY eventuality. But the shock is that instead of ever saying sorry for the deaths of the 96 there appears to have been a deliberate and calculated smear campaign in fact to blame the victims. I knew it had played out that way but now to understand it was deliberate makes me feel sick inside.

In life we should all be prepared to say sorry when we get it wrong and learn from our mistakes. The blame culture makes it hard but surely out of this lesson we need to change our attitude to both - blame and saying sorry. We need to make it easier to say we got it wrong. Yes in the worst situations people will walk from jobs - but in many cases they don't have to.

More will be reported this week I am sure and the shocking revelation that up to 41 of the victims could have had the potential to survive. More horrors will be unveiled.

Finally whilst the credit should go to the victims families and their supporters for never giving up - there are a few MPs too who I know just kept on and on supporting them even when it looked hopeless. so well done everybody for fighting for 'justice' it is heartening to know that you were right and people should have listened earlier. Perhaps from now on we will listen a little more to campaigners for justice.

Tags: Football, Hillsborough

When £250,000 is not Enough

Posted: Sat, 24 Mar 2012 10:14

I always watch Sport Relief. It is painful and a great reminder to put our lives into perspective. I particularly enjoy watching celebrities putting themselves through a gruelling regime to raise funds. David Walliams springs to mind and the sheer pain on the face (and legs) of John Bishop this year was immense.

So last night when we had a great clip of all the things the Premier League were doing for Sport Relief why did my heart sink when I saw they had 'only' raised £250,000. Surely I should be grateful they had taken part and raised such a sum.

I wondered if I was alone in my initial reaction. Perhaps I was being over sensitive to the telephone number pay deals for top earners. As we have seen over at football in the Premier League is not quite a bed of roses. So getting £250k from a bunch of loss making businesses should be good right?

So I tweeted my initial gut response and it seems from the reaction that I was not alone.

In terms of reputational management it does seem an attempt to show football and the premier League in a good light has indeed backfired. An interesting position. When doing your bit for charity is not quite enough! As in twitter world - hashtag #justsaying.

Here at it is these kind of things we look out for. We are not so professional that we have lost touch with what real people think!

Tags: Football, Premier League, Sport Relief

This wasn't "harmless banter"

Posted: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 13:39

Sky Sports presenters today said they were sorry for the comments they made about women officials in the game of football. Sky Sports Story.

As usual the defence is that these were comments off mike and just banter. I am sorry that is simply not good enough. There is a serious issue here. You need to read and indeed listen to the comments. They weren't banter this was a serious conversation with feeling.

Now I agree we can't police every private conversation and these views will be shared by thousands of sports people. But that doesn't make it right. We have moved a long way in the last 30 years in recognising the role of women in sport - but clearly not far enough.

Personally I think resignation is too good for them. Perhaps they could clean the boots of the England Women’s team for a year.

Sport at leadership level in NGBs has a long way to go before understanding the massive contribution women make at every level – from grassroots to providing some of the best elite athletes this country has produced. Idiots like this put progress and reconfirm to those looking from outside (often with funding) that sport is run by a bunch of dinosaurs. Sorry lads you don’t speak for me and hopefully millions of genuine sports fans.

Tags: Football, Sky Sport, Sport, Women In Sport

More Cash from TV for Grassroots Sport?

Posted: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 16:03

The CCPR has been asked by Sports Minister Hugh Robertson to review its voluntary code on broadcasting – which sees up to 5% of revenue from TV Rights going into grassroots sport. (CCPR News)

The coalition government will be keen to have some good news on the funding front at the moment and surely this will be a winner with grassroots sport. The announcement was made as Hugh at the same time killed off the Davies review of Listed Events. This can be seen as the trade off. We leave your TV revenues alone – but now prove you need the money for the grassroots of your sport. I am sure there are many sports that have no worries on this front. But the big battle will be with the Premier League in football. Apart from those who love money above football there can’t be many who think the Premier League should put more into the game it says it loves and promotes.

Hugh has set a high ambition of 30% of revenues going back into the grassroots. I bet the ECB can demonstrate it achieves this. I bet the Premier League cannot. Don’t expect the football world and the FA to be saved any day soon by a 30% windfall from the SKY deals with the Premier League. They will fight this tooth and nail. I bet they end up nearer 8% and a fudge to determining what counts as community or grassroots sport.

Watch this space. And good luck to the CCPR who have been given this job.

Tags: CCPR, Listed events, TV Rights, football, sport

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