Blog & News from SajeImpact - Tags: LRS

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: LRS

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

My Pledge to Make Leicestershire the Most Active County

Posted: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 18:19

My Pledge to Make Leicestershire the Most Active County

Really Making a Difference in sport and physical activity for Leicestershire

Thanks to LinkedIn I was reminded this week that I have been involved with Leicestershire County Sports Partnership as Chair for a decade in 2016. Leicestershire RUTLAND Sport or @lrs_sport has been an enjoyable part of my life for that decade. As anybody who knows me understands my passion for sport in the County. From the professional clubs to my grassroots involvement as a team player and casual participant. I love our early years work; our schools work right through to our celebration events for elite athletes and our Oldest athlete awards. I particularly enjoy the fact that I get to work with such a passionate group of people are equally committed to sport, recreation and physical activity. I know from partner events that we run that I am not alone; there are thousands of people across the County equally committed to getting us active and sporty.

However, I was quite rightly challenged in a conversation before Christmas to explain to a business partner about our commitment to become the most active County in the country. Have we achieved that he asked? – and how are you measuring if we have or not reached the target. I explained about APS but more importantly in my answer I realised it remained an ambition but not one that we took seriously enough. Certainly it isn't a target that we put at the top of our priorities and beat ourselves up each year if we are still not the achieving being the most active County. If we took it seriously we would be seriously disappointed we were not top!

To be perfectly frank this isn't good enough for me. I have spent a decade helping the team make us one of the best 3 CSPs in the country consistently. This is great but only up to a point. If the outcome of us going from 'Good to Great' is that we have a great team and a high performing organisation but we are still not the top active County it can feel a little hollow.

So from 2016 onwards I am going to change and I hope to help drive the Change locally necessary to make us believe we can and should be the most active County in the country.

We can't do it alone. A CSP is only a small cog in a large wheel of public, private and voluntary sectors along with hundreds of thousands of individual decisions. We have always tried to engage our partners across the County with a reasonable degree of success considering that sport and physical activity are quite often not a top priority for them. But over the coming year I want to show all these sectors and hundreds of thousands of people across LeicesterShire that we need to rebuild physical activity into our lives and to build on the great sporting success our professional sports teams bring to the County.

The launch of of he Government Sport and Physical Activity Strategy is the spur to us all to build alliances and partnerships. The journey has led me to join the Board of our local Enterprise Partnership – Llep, to put sport and physical activity at the heart of the economic agenda. As part of this work we are undertaking an economic impact assessment of the current sport economy with the desire to find out what more needs to be done to stimulate this even more. We know that an active and healthy workforce is a key economic driver. We need to make sure businesses know this and play their part in helping with a physical and mental health wellbeing programme in the workplace. It helps them, the economy and wider society through improved lives.

I hope to use my time as Chair of the CSP and the Board lead on the LLEP to be making the case to all sectors about putting physical and mental wellbeing as a priority. It will entail me ensuring we embed this message in all the key stakeholders across the County to buy into the same mission to make LeicesterShire the top active County in the country. Already I have started targeting those who can make the most difference, but it does include the vast numbers of people who deliver this message daily in their work or personal lives.

To make this work I need all the political leadership across the County to buy into the vision and for them to recognise their role and benefits to their electorate. We need public health, the CCGs, Health ; wellbeing Boards and the UHL and GPs across the county to understand the benefits of exercise and the need for long term investment in physical activity. We need local government not to see leisure spend as an easy target for cuts. We need health visitors to pass on knowledge form birth about activity, play and physical literacy. We need Nurseries then primary and secondary schools to play their part in delivering quality experiences of PE, Sport and appropriate competition. We need the FE Colleges and HE sector to use their engagement with students to embed this positive behaviour in their lives. We need to support the 5000 voluntary sports clubs across the county maintain a quality experience. We need to help the professional sports teams in the County to deliver a winning formula both on and off the pitch and using their brands to reach out thorough their community work to maximise impact. We recognise the diverse nature of a County like Leicestershire & Rutland from inner city Leiecster and its BAME communities to the Rural county and all providing challenges to the way we deliver and experience sport. We need to tackle equity issues at every stage; whether that is gender, disability, ethnicity or social class. We need to make sure we are genuinely joined up and collaborating in our approach to delivering.. Whether it's in community, schools, through clubs, gyms, leisure providers, in the public, private or voluntary sectors. We need to support the hundreds of sports business that have their homes in Leicestershire.

We need to make sure we use the global asset of Loughborough University and its reputation without distracting them from their core purpose and strategic direction.

We need to make great impact with the professional clubs and their facilities – LCFC, Tigers, Riders, Leicestershire Cricket, Hockey, The Speedway, The Race Course or our motor racing facilities at Donnnington and Mallory Park. The Loughborough University teams playing In their national leagues as well being home to so many Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls can have a massive impact as we have shown through our Legacy programmes. We need to nurture and support Leicestershire based talent from an early age.

So my task will be to win over our major stakeholders in all sectors across Leicestershire and to sign up to helping us become the most active county. If you are a key stakeholder in the media, local government, health, business, sport, leisure, voluntary sector you can expect me to be asking you to sign up to getting Leicestershire moving again.

I am not doing this just because it's a nice target to aim for. For the last decade I have seen the increasing evidence of the impact of the world designing activity out of our daily lives. Whilst there is much evidence about the costs of obesity to the NHS unless we take action the costs of physical activity outweigh that challenge. Many Non Communable Diseases (NCDs) are linked to inactivity. It is a silent killer and more importantly a cure for so many of the issues we are storing up for the future. For those of us banging the drum we know it is the most cost effective remedy for the NHS in the long run. If it were a pill it would be regarded as a miracle cure.

And this is not just about sport and gyms. This is about creating active cities, and getting people outdoors. It is about every age group finding a way to be active – from toddler groups to senior activity groups. It is about the professional clubs, businesses and volunteers who prop up our sports system.

So for 2016 I am asking all Leaders across the county to join our crusade,join the pledge to make us the most active county in the UK. I I'll be asking for people to sign the pledge, tell me what they are going to do differently and how they will build this into their strategic plans.I have no intention of leaving anybody out, so if you feel you can add to the campaign Join me at lrs_sport and #activeleicsThis is not about me doing this – it is about creating a desire across the county to get behind this work. I saw for myself at the Leiecster Arena on Saturday night just how much difference one person can make. The Arena would not have happened without the determination of Kevin Routledge and his persistence when others would have given up. I commit myself to the next decade to create the same level of ambition & drive shown by Kevin and the team.

Together we can get us moving again & make us proud to live in Leicestershire.

Check out LRS

Tags: #activeLeics, LRS, active county

Reed Speaks to Radio Leicester on FIFA & Blatter

Posted: Wed, 03 Jun 2015 09:48

Reed Speaks to Radio Leicester on FIFA & Blatter

Reed Speaks on Blatter

Andy Reed has been on Radio Leicester again this week speaking up for Sports who feel tainted by FIFA revelations of alleged corruption. Speaking as Chair of Leicestershire Sport Andy Reed was keen to promote the role of volunteers as the genuine face of sport

Andy said "Sport is not FIFA and FIFA is not all sport. Here in Leicester and Leicestershire we have thousands of sports volunteers who deliver sport on a voluntary basis. This is a far cry from the revelations we have seen at FIFA this week and the resignation of Sepp Blatter.

Andy can be found here on Radio Leicester:

Tags: Blatter, Fifa, Lrs, Radio Leicester

10 Years and Counting

Posted: Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:52

10 Years and Counting

At Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport (LRS) we celebrated our 10th year at Leicester Tigers yesterday with our 'landscape partners' (We do jargon well!)

As well as looking back to celebrate what LRS have achieved over the last 10 years as a partnership, LRS we were looking at what needs to take place in order to shape the next 10 years for sport and physical activity locally.

As Chair of LRS I am proud to represent the CSP and promote sport and physical activity in the Count. It is certainly not all about the elite clubs but about getting our 900,000 people active in their daily lives as well as encouraging an providing opportunities for more people to play sport.

We face the same challenges as other areas in the UK but I honestly believe we get great support form all the partners we need around the table. We are fortunate to have such great advocates in key positions across the County and City and Rutland.

We have a great dedicated team of staff who are as passionate as me. I love this voluntary role and am looking forward to the next 10 years!

See what we have been up to in the last 10 years – LRS 10th Year Celebration

Tags: Chair, Leiecster, Leiecstershire, Lrs, Rutland, physical activity, sport

Go Gold - Leicestershire

Posted: Fri, 22 Feb 2013 16:40

On Monday I was humbled to be sat in the Council Chamber at County Hall as Chair of Leicester Shire & Rutland Sport to see many of our GO GOLD athletes receive their awards for 2013. I certainly felt not only old but humbled by the level of success and hard work they were all putting in to achieve their success. All too often my generation (and those a little older) bemoan the fact that exams must be getting easier if young people today are achieving so much. As a parent I know my children are far more advanced in their education in comparison to where I was at the same age. It seems the same is true of our athletes. I am not saying I didn't try at school sport but I certainly didn't put in the hours and professional dedication shown by the young people I met. I think we used to try and get by on natural talent and a few training sessions. As I was leaving to head off I heard one parent saying they thought they would be back in time at 8.30 to get that 45 minute run in after all!

This is what the scheme does and I want to thank everybody involved - especially the staff at LRS, those who fund it and of course our athlete ambassadors

Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport, supported by Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City Council, are pleased to support talented young athletes through the GO GOLD Talented Athlete Fund.

The aim of GO GOLD is to support talented young athletes who are currently performing at regional standard or above in their sport, including those athletes who are being recognised by their National Governing Bodies as being our future Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth athletes and potential medal winners.

Funding to support GO GOLD is given by Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City Council, and it financially support athletes who live or attend a school in Leicestershire or Leicester City. University Students must have a parental residence within our specified boundaries. The scheme opens annually in September - October for applications. The 2012/13 Fund is open for applications from 1st September - 31st October 2012.

New for 2012/13 - Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport are also launching the GO GOLD Graduate Scheme for athletes who have graduated from their College or University, but are still performing their sport at a high level. These applicants MUST be previous recipients of the GO GOLD scheme.

Tags: Go Gold, Lrs

Using our Olympic Champions to Inspire

Posted: Thu, 18 Oct 2012 17:27

Using our Olympic Champions to Inspire

I know from my own children that the Olympic spirit was certainly captured in schools over the last year or two.

As our report from the Sport & Recreation Alliance will show tomorrow though the level of that "feelgood" factor already seems to be slipping away. Figures for the number of clubs saying the government have not done enough about legacy will be alarming.

So here is Leicestershire we are not sitting back and waiting for legacy to land on our lap. We have put together a programme of using our Olympic heroes to maintain that level of interest in sport we saw at the height of the Summer.

Today we welcomed Luke Campbell the Olympic Gold Medal Boxer to Leicestershire and I was able to join him at Shepshed Boxing Club to see him engage with the children from the local school.

It was great to see how excited the children were at the sight of a real Gold medal (Adults were equally excited to be honest) and hear of his story.

This was the start of a year long drive to use the power of our athletes to maintain interest that will Inspire a Generation.

It was particularly pleasing or it to be at Shepshed Boxing after having spent to much time when I was an MP trying to keep it in its current building when the local council refused planning permission for them to remain in the building. Great to be back and see the 'team' have worked hard to grow and improve the club. Hard working volunteers at their best in local clubs.

Tags: @inspireLeics, LRS, boxing, luke campbell

Leicestershire - the next Olympians?

Posted: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 17:31

Leicestershire - the next Olympians?

One of the ways in Leicestershire we have been trying to nurture our talented athletes is through a programme called GO GOLD. Already a couple of our first athletes have gone on to great things - one an Olympian this year and one a World Junior Champion who is a must for Rio. It is great to be involved. So just to let you know the 12/13 round is open!

The 2012/13 Leicester-Shire & Rutland GO GOLD Talented Athlete Fund is now open for applications from local talented athletes from 1st September – 31st October 2012.

The aim of GO GOLD is to support talented young athletes in full time education who are currently performing at regional standard or above in their sport, including those athletes who are being recognised by their National Governing Bodies as being our future Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth athletes and potential medal winners.

Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport, supported by funding from Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City Council, are pleased to support talented young athletes through the GO GOLD Talented Athlete Fund, to financially support athletes who live or attend a school in Leicestershire or Leicester City.

In 2011/12, we awarded 98 grants of £300, £500, £750 and £1,000 across 29 sports.

Current recipients of the GO GOLD Talented Athlete Fund include Team GB London 2012 Olympian Lucy Hall (Triathlete) and World Junior Road Race Champion Lucy Garner (Cyclist).

New for 2012/13 - Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport are also launching the GO GOLD Graduate Scheme for athletes who have graduated from their College or University, but are still performing their sport at a high level. These applicants MUST be previous recipients of the GO GOLD scheme.

For more information and how to apply, visit or contact Kim Lillie, Sports Development Officer, Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport, 01509 564853,

Tags: GO gold, LRs, Olympians, olympics, talent

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