Blog & News from SajeImpact - Tags: Physical Activity

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: Physical Activity

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

Expert Panel to Explore Health Benefits of Swimming

Posted: Fri, 13 May 2016 19:09

Expert Panel to Explore Health Benefits of Swimming

Expert Panel to Explore Health Benefits of Swimming

A new group has been set up to investigate the links between swimming and health, and demonstrate just how good swimming is for you.

The Health Commission for Swimming is an independent group made up of experts from across the health and physical activity sectors.

Set up as a response to Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation, the group will explore current research around health and swimming, and provide evidence on how swimming positively impacts on a person's physical and mental wellbeing.

Ian Cumming, Health Education England Chief Executive and Level 3 swimming coach, will chair the Commission group. He said: "Over the last six months there has been a distinct shift in the national debate about the value of physical activity and the contribution it can make to the health of the nation.

"Swimming is unique; anyone can do it regardless of age, ability or health condition. It is the only physical activity that can be done from birth right through to older age, and with over 16 million people swimming at least once a month, it is well-placed to respond to many of the country's key health and social concerns.

"We already know that just 30 minutes of swimming each week can significantly benefit general levels of health and wellbeing. This new Commission group will seek to identify and conclusively demonstrate how swimming can help combat a range of health conditions within the population."

Mike Farrar, Chairman of the ASA Group Board, said: "The ASA has always advocated the social, physical and mental benefits of swimming. It's an activity that is truly accessible to everyone which means it helps to tackle social and health challenges across all age groups, from childhood obesity and inactivity, to adults experiencing mental ill-health, social isolation or illness.

"The Government's new sport strategy inspired us to fully explain swimming's ability to take up the challenges they have identified. The Health Commission for Swimming is an exciting opportunity for these to be examined by a range of industry experts, and to demonstrate the positive impact swimming has on the nation.

"Almost half of the population say they go swimming. If we can encourage them to swim more regularly by conclusively demonstrating how much they will gain from swimming – whether through fun, health or fitness – then we will be well on our way to achieving our mission of a healthier and happier nation through swimming."

The Commission group, which has been brought together by the ASA, will meet throughout the year to identify effective methods of research that demonstrate the positive impact of swimming. It will also determine essential models and practices, and provide guidance for the wider aquatics and health industry.

"Swimming is an exercise that both strengthens your muscles and raises your heart rate" – Duncan SelbieMembers of the group include Dr Justin Varney from Public Health England, Professor Ric Fordham from the University of East Anglia, Sandra Dodd CEO of PFP Leisure and Karen Creavin from Birmingham City Council. Adam Paker, Dave Fletcher and ASA independent Group Board member Simon Johnston, will also be part of the group.

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, added: "Swimming is an exercise that both strengthens your muscles and raises your heart rate, and is a great way to look after your weight and heart. What is good for your heart is also good for your head. We look forward to hearing what further can be done to bring the benefits of swimming to as many people as possible."

The launch follows the recent approval by the NHS Research Ethics Committee for further research to be conducted into the links between swimming and quality of life for people living with dementia. This comes after successful pilots of the ASA's Dementia Friendly Swimming Project which is currently being delivered in eight areas of the country.

The Health Commission for Swimming is due to report its findings at the end of the year.

Tags: Asa, Health, Physical Activity, Swimming

A New Sports Challenge?

Posted: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 09:49

A New Sports Challenge?

A New Sports Challenge?

I am afraid I am coming to one of the many stages in life that sports people find difficult to navigate – the prospect of playing the sport they love regularly. I am fortunate that I have not been seriously injured and forced to stop before a career has begun, but at the age of fifty playing rugby weekly will need to come to an end. In fact for most people playing rugby regularly ends in mid thirties, so I have to be thankful I have managed to squeeze 15 years more than my body really wanted.

In this life stages of a sporty person, these transition points happen for different reasons and at different times for all of us that are active. Many people just drift, just as I suppose I did when I had to stop playing volleyball because of the change in lifestyle when I became an MP mainly based in London mots weekdays. It killed mid week sports team involvement.

Now as I contemplate finishing playing regular rugby I need to find an alternative and Intend to be a bit of a mystery consumer during my attempts to shift my emphasis. Clearly I would love rugby to continue to be part of the mix so I have discovered the joys of Touch Rugby over the last 2 years. I intend to use this as my main new sports where it is played – but it seems mainly during the summer months. I do play badminton with my son and I have played a little beach volleyball again recently which gave me the taste for taking this up – apart from not being able to leave the ground being a little disadvantage when up at the net!

So I have a set of criteria which make it difficult and hopefully symptomatic of the challenge facing the sector as a whole.

I want something which:-
Gives me the same team spirit as rugby
Gives me flexibility – I can't train at a regular point in the week
I can't commit to play regularly
I am 50+ so to be honest want vets or masters
Geographically needs to be close and easy to access
I prefer ball sports, running.
I don't like swimming
I get cycling and will look into this… Without it being competitive
Is cheap
Doesn't require great travel and time from family
In fact the family should be welcome…

So here goes, During 2015/16 I will be trying some new sports and reposting my experiences. Was it what I was looking for, was it accessible, was it friendly, was it a good consumer experience. If I can't find something & fit it, it will be little wonder that other people struggle. Here goes

Tags: NGB, Sport, physical activity

Saje Impact to work with Loughborough University PHPHRG!

Posted: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 08:49

Saje Impact to work with Loughborough University PHPHRG!

Saje Impact to work with Loughborough University PHPHRG!

Saje Impact is delighted to announce that we will be working with Loughborough University Physical Activity & Public Health Research Group – adding further expertise to our increasing work on tackling the issue of inactivity and increasing physical activity and sport uptake.

Andy said "Increasingly the need for sport to understand the physical activity agenda has become important. Several reports launched just last week and this week highlight the campaigning we have been helping with for the last few years – we are a nation that is becoming less physically active. Just today the YST have launched details of their Class of 2035 Research.

So working with PAPHRG I hope to help sport, recreation and physical activity providers understand every aspect of their work and what actually works!

"I am also really pleased that the expertise covers wearable Tech and the psychological behaviours associated with active and sedentary behaviour. As much as people like me lecture on being physically active we need to understand the behaviours and drivers for exercise or even just moving more! being at the forefront of this work and helping our clients work with some of the best research in the world at brand leading Loughborough University is a fantastic opportunity."

"I am passionate about sport and it has its place. I want every child to have an experience in school to find a sport they may like. But I also recognise the social trends and it is not possible to compete with technology, scree time with the same old solutions. We need to think about new ways of making sport attractive and also acknowledging our traditional sports are not for everybody. We need to think of physical activity as part of our wider responsibilities from home to school and not just about PE. We need to re-build activity into our daily lives and Sport may need to recognise that its funded because it delivers the health, fitness and activity agenda.

Tags: Active, Exercise, Physical Activity, Sedentary, Sport

Build Activity into Our Daily Lives

Posted: Tue, 26 May 2015 13:53

Build Activity into Our Daily Lives

Build Activity into Our Daily Lives

Andy Reed spoke to Premier Christian radio today after a report suggested obesity is linked to living next to noisy roads!

The story is linked below. Andy said

"I am always pleased to talk about these issues. These reports and headlines can leave people confused about what they can and can't do. First we need the distinction between the issue of Obesity and the lack of physical activity. Whilst there is some links they are two separate issues.

"The causes of people becoming obese are mixed and varied. There is no single reason that explains every situation. It is increasingly difficult to avoid in a society of plenty, and with poor choices being put in front of us every day by the Food Industry. I am convinced that one day we will look upon Big Food as we do the Tobacco industry."

I do believe that as Christians we have a responsibility to look after our bodies the best we can. This means for me our diet, physical activity, sleep, water and a healthy work/life balance to maintain our stress levels. These are a virtuous circle. When all of these things are balanced we can have a healthy & productive life. I know these are not possible for all people at all stages in their lives, so we need to help each other to achieve these goals.


By Hannah Tooley

A Christian sports leader says people can increase their levels of physical activity in lots of different ways.

Andy Reed made the comment after new research from the British Medical Journal found that living near a main road can cause people to gain weight.

The study into noise pollution also found that living under a flight path doubles the risk of obesity.

Mr Reed, from Christian sports thinktank Saje Impact, told Premier: "Don't be daunted, you don't have to rush off and join a gym, but just build up that level of physical activity so that everything becomes comfortable and just make it part of our daily lives."

"Probably there's an element of truth in many of these [reports], there isn't one single cause for this obesity epidemic that we're currently suffering in this country, there are a whole series of reasons."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Andy Reed here:

Listen to Andy Reed on Premier Radio

Tags: Physical Activity, Premier Radio

Youth Sport Trust Launch 'Manifesto'

Posted: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 08:48

Yesterday saw the launch of the Youth Sport Trust 'manifesto' for PE and school sport. As a long standing advocate for the YST it was good to be in the House of Lords to see such strong backing for the calls made in the manifesto linked below.

What was most pleasing was to see both Andy Burnham MP and Sir Hugh Robertson MP agreeing with the need for school sport to be given a high priority and to sign up the what the manifesto is calling for. There is a general degree of agreement around schools sport and PE amongst the political class who 'get it'. The need is for those who aren't amongst that wide group of MPs and policy maker to understand this is not necessarily about sport/ PE for its own sake – and to understand the wider benefits set out in this manifesto and backed up by so much research and evidence. At the Sports Think Tank we have ample evidence to back up what a positive impact on all areas of school life can be achieved with a good physical activity, PE and School sport policy and great implementation.

The YST Press Story:

Youth Sport Trust Chair Baroness Sue Campbell has today launched the charity's 'Unlocking Potential' manifesto for PE and school sport which sets out where action is required by any future Government to tackle the growing physical inactivity crisis.

Baroness Campbell launched the manifesto at a special reception at the House of Lords where urged a joined-up, cross departmental, approach to PE and physical activity by the education, health and sport sectors in order to reverse current trends.

The Youth Sport Trust manifesto calls for:

  • More time for higher quality PE to ensure all young people are physically literate and can move competently and confidently
  • Physical activity opportunities to be embedded into every school day- to ensure every child has the opportunity to live a healthy, active lifestyle
  • Sustained competitive sport inschools- to ensure sport remains at the heart of a young person's life

Baroness Sue Campbell said:

"Reversing the growing levels of physical inactivity amongst young people is a seismic challenge. With one in three children leaving primary school obese or overweight, and less than one in five meeting the minimum recommended guidelines for physical activity, it is a bleak and worrying picture.

"At the Youth Sport Trust we believe every child has a right to access high quality physical education and school sport. By making this a priority area, the next Government has an opportunity to improve our nations' health, education and sporting prospects.

"Our manifesto demonstrates how PE, school sport and physical activity improves physical health; boosts mental health and builds resilience; creates active habits for life and boosts academic achievement.

"We have set out where we believe any future Government should focus its efforts if we are to stand any real chance of reversing the worrying trends that are leading to increasing sedentary lifestyles amongst young people."

The summary of the Youth Sport Trust's asks from a future Government are:


  • Make sure every child receives five hours of high quality PE, sport and broader physical activity at school every week – including at least two hours of high quality PE per week
  • Provide better initial training in PE for teachers
  • Ensure every school has a Head of PE or equivalent


  • Ensure every school has programmes to engage the least active
  • Advocate the role of schools in supporting the physical health and emotional wellbeing of pupils
  • Include children's physical activity indications in the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF)


  • Ensure all young people have the opportunity to participate in competitive sport as a participant, volunteer or leader
  • Introduce a mandatory children's coaching qualification
  • Develop a clear pathway for talented young people

To read the Youth Sport Trust manifesto click here

Tags: PE, andy burnham, hugh robertson, physical activity, school sport, sport, yst

Coming up for SajeImpact in 2015

Posted: Sun, 28 Dec 2014 16:43

Coming up for SajeImpact in 2015

Coming up in 2015

This is not quite the New Year Message I used to put out as an MP, but more of a prequel to what will be happening at SajeImpact in 2015 – or what we hope will be happening!

For those who follow the tweets, facebook or my Linkedin it can be a confusing mix of sport, faith & politics. I make no apologies for that and this is one of the reasons SajeImpact exists – to allow me to pursue those passions and to make a real impact in the world. So the things below will take a greater portion of my time next year but this does not mean everything will be dominated by these all year round, it ill just be that these are prioritised.

So we will be spending time on the Rugby World Cup, the sport and physical activity agenda, the general election – both from the sport & Physical activity agenda as well as obviously taking a great interest in the outcome of the May 7th General Election and an end to the coalition.

The Year Ahead

There will be a series of themes running throughout the year – and certainly a year that will be domintaed a little by the Rugby World Cup in September and October and a great deal of the time in the build-up to the tournament. I will be tied up in rugby legitimtaley for once- through engage2015, through sportrectweets, through SajeImpact, through G&G with our work in Rugby BC and through my voluntary role on the Area Legacy Group Board. I will be writing about the role of engage2015 for a number of articles in the coming weeks so will be posting more details here.

The General Election is of course something that will dominate our year. It is the first time in 30 years that I will not be involved in an election campaign. Instead I am handing over the reigns in Loughborough to Mathew O'Callaghan our Labour PPC. I will blog in more detail about this decision and my support for Mathew.

My increasing interest in the physical activity agenda stretches to a greater understanding of future trends and their impact on people as 'consumers and participants' and especially in the use of technology and innovation. Again, lots more will be added to the site this year as well as to our micro site

New this year will be a bit more time backing Sarah and awarness rasing for ME – and following Sarahatsaje is a must for anybody interested.

Of course we have some new clients too in 2015 – again based on much of where our priorities above take us! We will blog and update the site with more details on each of these early in the new year.

So please follow me on twitter andyjreed_obe or over at facebook or find me on Linkedin. From the website you can also link to my Tumblr or Instagram!

Tags: Faith, Physical Activity, Politics, Sajeimpact, Sport

Putting Physical Activity at the Centre - Professor Reed!

Posted: Tue, 09 Dec 2014 09:46

Putting Physical Activity at the Centre - Professor Reed!

Putting Physical Activity at the Centre - Professor Reed!

Last night I was delighted to be at Liverpool John Moores University in my first official duty as a visiting professor of Sport Policy and Development to talk about the Olympic Legacy to the Physical Activity agenda for policy makers.

I guess the drift in policy from sport to physical activity is reflected in my own drift in policy emphasis too. As a key champion for sport in parliament, including being a vocal supporter of the Olympics coming to London in 2012 most of my work was done to promote sport, sport funding and policy to support the sporting landscape. Like many I was driven by using the Olympics as an inspiration for a generation to get into sport and driving up participation in sports clubs.

Whilst this still remains a massive emphasis – the power of sport is still something I will champion at every opportunity I realised that not everybody either shares my view of sport or is ever going to despite how many times I tell them it is great. Over the last 5 years I have learned a great deal about the motivations of the 70% of people who don't play sport or exercise regularly and this has changed my focus to look at a wide range of things that we need to do as policy makers to be much more consumer focussed.

So back to Liverpool. We had a room of the key drivers (mainly from the public sector to be fair) for sport, recreation, exercise, leisure, physical activity as well as the researchers from LJMU. I didn't come with any solutions – but just lots of questions about how the people in the room could build in the notion of creating an active lifestyle for the people of Liverpool in all the work they do. The answer to the inactivity timebomb was in the room amongst the practitioners and policy makers, from the Chief Constable to the head of public health and leisure services.

The key messages and challenges are; inactivity is intergenerational and pre determined to an extent before a child enters school, so how do we rebuild play and physical literacy into pre school, parenting. What is the purpose and best practise for school to be doing PE, PL, school sport and games. How do we build an active school – not just in the 2 hours of PE. In a time of austerity – we heard eye watering figures for cuts in Liverpool, including halving the leisure spend what does a 'service' look like in 5 years time. It certainly won't be the same. New partnership will need to emerge.

We all know the various figures of the cost of obesity and inactivity – in fact we almost become immune to the sheer size and scale of the figures from £2bn to £56bn quoted in Street Games lifetime costs, so health have a massive interest in this. We heard of some great examples where CCGs, not just health & wellbeing boards understand the need to invest in physical activity. Once again thanks to @exerciseworks and people like Dr William Bird and Optima health we have been increasingly making the case for exercise as one of the best medicines going! But this needs to turn to become the norm and mainstream not just a few profiled projects.

We also turned to the role of planners and urban designers and architects in making our living environment one conducive to making physical activity part of our normal day. Cycling is making progress but we need to do much more and much faster.

As always I touched on the role of technology and the changing nature of the consumer based on our Future Foundation work at the SRA and Sport Wales. We have to be thinking differently about the way we deliver sport, recreation and exercise. We have to understand behaviour change much better before assuming because we know best people will follow or be coerced into activity. We heard some great examples from Everton FC community work – using the Club to reach groups who otherwise might easily not be engaged at all.

The discussions flowed, the consensus grew and whilst everybody understood the challenges of austerity and doing all of this at a time of little money, this could help as the catalyst to make the partnerships that existed even stronger and more meaningful. It requires greater creativity in thinking rather than creating a pot of money and some more 'projects'. If the energy in the room can be captured and the partners working closely together across local government, university, education pubic health, museums, Leisure, the private sector and health commissioning as well as the CSP and sports sector there is likely to be an evidence based programmes of solutions to the challenge. Hopefully last night was the start of the next part of a journey in Liverpool in which physical activity becomes an increasing norm for policy makers – and as the room concluded for the the people we aim to serve. If we listen to them a lot more (genuinely listen not just another survey) then we might start to effect real change.

As ever I hope to cajole, question, offer insight and challenge through SajeImpact and SportsInnovation and as a Professor of Sport Policy and development I get a posh title to help!

Tags: LJMU, Liverpool, Physical activity, austerity, local government, sport

Liverpool John Moores University Egerton Court Seminar

Posted: Wed, 03 Dec 2014 14:16

Liverpool John Moores University Egerton Court Seminar

Liverpool JMU Egerton Court Seminar

Next week Andy Reed will be giving the Egerton Court Seminar at Liverpool John Moores University in his first act as a Visiting Professor of Sport Policy and Development.

Andy will be addressing the growing recognition of physical inactivity as a key policy driver for politicians.

Titled –

"More Precious Than Gold: Why politics is waking up to the benefits of sport, and exercise sciences in sustaining healthy lifestyles"

Further details are available from LJMU and an abstract of the talk will be made available later next week.


Tags: Andy Reed, Ljmu, Physical Activity, Professor Reed, Sport

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

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