Blog & News from SajeImpact - Tags: Sport England

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: Sport England

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Pale Male and Stale

Posted: Sun, 21 May 2017 17:10

Pale Male and Stale

Pale Male and Stale

There are so many challenges hitting the sports sector at the moment it's difficult to keep up with one issue per month in this column! However, there is one that I am hoping will dominate Board discussions this year is governance – specifically diversity on Boards.

Sport England & UK Sport quite rightly have highlighted improved governance as a key component of improving the sports landscape and long term sustainability.

I have been on this journey since I first arrived inside sport in the 90s. At that stage, there was always a focus on the FA and the FA Council membership. It became the focus for poor governance. I was at a Select Committee hearing in December and again the dominant feature was the battle ahead between DCMS, SE and the FA over the future of the Council and its members.

But much more importantly this is much more than about the FA and RFU and other NGBS councils – even if these dominate the news agenda. Much more seriously these high-profile organisations highlight the bigger issue of lack of diversity on our Boards and senior leadership across the sector. to be fair this is not just sport problem – it is wider in society and other charities but we do seem to be even further behind.

I have been fortunate to be working with Sporting Equals for the last 18 months and specifically on their LeaderBoard project.

Sporting Equals LeaderBoard research launched in December showed that just 1% of NGB Chairs were from a BAME community with a similar proportion of CEOs. At Board level the figure is just 4%. To be honest this is disgraceful.

Loughborough University have also been covering this issue in football and coaching where we find a similarly low 4% figure – despite over 30% of players in the Premiership from BAME community

When I do talks on sport governance and Boards there is a tendency for people to want to talk about gender targets and quotas as though these are the only issues.

As Chris Grant said at the launch event sport has had to work hard to create enough barriers to keep the number so low!

Did you know that the BAME community makes up 13-14% of the population and APS shows participation rates at 17% amongst the BAME community?

We need to understand the country we live in. I was taken aback by a senior civil servant who thought 4% was about the right proportion v the number of people in parts of the country where there is little immigration believing BAME is 30-40% of the UK population. Surely if we are going to be insight led in future we should know and understand the communities where we live and who we want to serve.

And you haven't generated diversity if your BAME candidates just simply reflect many of the same cultural norms as their white colleagues. Our user base in sport is diverse. Why aren't our boards and leadership?

Fortunately, the LeaderBoard will provide help and guidance about overcoming many of the simple barriers… but don't fool yourselves that the talent is lacking. Other sectors like banking, law, and accounting where skill sets are high have levels of representation at 25% and above!

There shouldn't be a need to carry out this research to highlight the problem. We should all walk into a meeting, event or management team and recognise something is wrong when we see lots of people who all look and sound like ourselves staring back.

When trump used the excuse about 'locker room' banter we all dismissed it. But is there too much of an element of truth in what he said if we are being honest with ourselves. I know I live in the PC political world for much of my time and admit to being quite shocked at things I hear openly expressed in the sport and leisure world.

Frankly unless our Board rooms start to reflect the diversity of our population it is right we are not being publicly funded. We need to stop the group think and open ourselves up to new and fresh ideas and perspectives.


Tags: Leaderboard, Sport England, Sporting Equals

Reed Launches CSP Review for DCMS

Posted: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 09:27

As Sports Think Tank Director Andy Reed OBE was asked by the Sports Minister Tracey Crouch MP in the Summer of 2016 to carry out an appraisal of the CSPs as outlined in the #SportingFutures strategy.

The Report attached was delivered to the Minister at DCMS on 11th August 2016 and published here and on the Sport England website. (

This Report highlights the need for greater consistency of service delivery, accountability and transparency for Sport England investment in the CSP network. It calls for a new 'Core Purpose and specification' for CSPs and for this to be made widely known and available. The CSPs will continue to play an important role alongside other partners in the delivery of the Sport England and DCMS strategies.

Tags: CSP, CSP review, CSPN, sport England

Reed to Chair -7 Steps to Prove Your Impact Conference

Posted: Fri, 05 Aug 2016 21:13

Reed to Chair -7 Steps to Prove Your Impact Conference

Reed to Chair -7 Steps to Prove Your Impact Conference

7 Steps to Prove Your impact Conference

Click here to see the agenda for the day.

From 2017 funding will go to those organisations that can demonstrate they are able to increase participation in sport and physical activity where it is needed most, including a greater emphasis on groups who are typically much less active. The strategy will help deliver against the five health, social and economic outcomes set out in the Government's Sporting Future strategy and encourage organisations to focus in areas that make a greater difference to people's lives.

National Governing Bodies, County Sports Partnerships and other bodies that previously benefited from Sport England and other public sector funding over the last ten years need to make sure they are on top of these new priorities to ensure they are not left behind.

The Football Foundation and key partners are holding this special one-day seminar to help sports organisations ensure they set the right objectives, measure the right outcomes, prove their impact – and don't risk losing precious funding.

The Football Foundation is well-known for its innovative use of technology to improve efficiency and measure impact, and has built various cutting edge tools, such as Grantshot, Pitchfinder and Upshot. Upshot is particularly relevant in light of the new DCMS and Sport England strategy due to its capability to monitor progress against targets, measure outcomes and evidence the effect projects are having on communities and individuals, using quantitative and qualitative information.

At an affordable price and hosted at the famous Oval cricket ground, this is one event your organisation cannot afford to miss.

Read more Read lessWhenThursday, 13 October 2016 from 09:30 to 16:00 (BST) – Add to CalendarWhereThe Kia Oval – London, SE11 5SS – View Map

Tags: Conference, Football Foundation, Impact, Sport England

Reactions to Sport England Strategy

Posted: Fri, 20 May 2016 17:31

Reactions to Sport England Strategy

Reactions to Sport England Strategy

"Having sat on a draft copy of the Sport England Strategy for 2 weeks it was a great relief it was finally launched yesterday and now being able to comment on the new direction it outlines.

"Most of what I need to write about the strategy is on the Sports Think Tank website that we run. It is here that we have covered a range of reactions from our followers and picked up on comments from the media and other sports organisations. Most of the links are on our twitter feeds from what was a packed day of activity yesterday. There are still plenty of organisations who have not reacted publicly yet and are still absorbing the implications of the document.

I have also written my latest Sports management column about the strategy and will be unpacking the various implications over the summer months. Having read some reactions I am still not convinced people quite understand how different the investment will drive different outcomes and processes and the implications for their own funding.

At sajeImpact we are here to help.. so feel free to be in touch and we can see what we can do to help you navigate the strategy and how you react."

Tags: Sajeimpact, Sport England, Strategy

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

Finally Taking Part in Active People Survey (APS)

Posted: Fri, 02 Oct 2015 19:25

Finally Taking Part in Active People Survey (APS)

APS Telephone Call

For the first time in years I welcomed a 'nuisance call' at home. I was finally chosen to answer the Active People Survey for Sport England. I am reassured it was a random call.

At home we are registered with TPS so as soon as there was a pause and an introduction about a 'survey' I was suspicious and about to do my assertive but polite – no thanks, we are registered with TPS, you need to remove us from your database and goodnight. However, a few weeks ago whilst looking into the Active People Survey I did find a copy of the questions and recognised the name TNS. I asked "hang on a minute is this the Active People Survey… hey yes I have got time for this!'

So my first observation was over the way it was introduced. Unless I had recognised this as APS I would normally have said NO. Even when he explained it would be about 15 minutes I was in the middle of some emails and really wouldn't have been bothered if I wasn't such a nerdy policy wonk on sport and policy. Most sensible people would't be at home answering their home phone. I know they are looking into reaching people without a landline – but It was lucky I answered. I never answer my mobile to strange numbers now as I find it really intrusive and assume they are wanting to talk PPI. So for me the issue of a telephone survey has its problems from the start.

The poor guy from TNS didn't quite know how to handle my enthusiasm to do the survey!

We started straight away. I didn't have time to find the copy I had of the questionnaire and / or my diary and data.

After the usual scene setting questions e move swiftly into those about walking & cycling.

I didn't have my diary in front of me but e no spent 20 minutes asking about all the things I had done since 1st September…starting with "have I done at least one continuous walk lasting mor than 10 minutes. It goes on to ask how many days, what sort of walks (excluding walking round shops even though walking to the shops counts). I am not sure about everybody else, but I know I have done more than 10 mins every day but I can't quite recall every one of the 30 days and the level of intensity and distance. Yet I felt I was being cross examined.

At this point I did say – I could tell you exactly how many steps I have done every day during September if I can let you have my jawbone Up information. of course this is not on the questionnaire so I was quite rightly ignored. I was asked about the intensity of my walking. Again I said I could provide lots of data from my MYzone belt and rather than just say moderate I could actually highlight the number of minutes I was working at 60 or 80% of my max heart rate. I said I collected lots of useful data on my activity and what is more Jawbone and MyZone have been collecting live throughout September – they don't need to phone me. And this is my main beef. There is so much available live data around to capture these measurements. If you look at the measurement of TV audiences using BARB I am confident there is a much better way to create a live picture of the nations activity.

We then moved on to look at Sport and Recreation. Despite carrying an injury from August I was determined to make sure I had my main sports captured. I DID play 3 games of rugby and trained a little in September… but I normally am playing fully by now, but because of the RWC I am not playing on Saturdays. I don't want my rugby activities or lack of them for 4 weeks to count against the RFU and rugby so Idid what many do – and say what I would like my ideal month to look like. So I did include rugby & touch rugby, badminton and the beach volleyball played slightly before the Sept 1st opening date. I hadn't swam in September but had in August. But that didn't count!

I don't recall being asked about gym membership (where I have been 4-6 times in September) and we did get asked a few questions about fruit and vegetables (again I know about my 5 a day so gave the 'right' answer.

I knew that for most days in September I had cycled (I have a new exercise bike at home) Played rugby, played badminton, made sure I walked 10,000 steps actively but without my diary and data I couldn't remember exactly when, where and how intensely. But because of social desirability bias I was ensuring I gave the right answers to many questions. If I could have provided the actual data – or even an improved version of all my data we would have a much better understanding of what is really happening. I didn't exaggerate too much but I certainly wanted to make sure my 'normal' level of activity was a captured and that I got in a range of things I normally do. As chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance I panicked and worried about how many NGBs APS figures I could 'help'. Of course I didn't but there was a brief moment of panic! How far would I stretch my definition of activity?

I loved the questions about dance and gardening… fortunately I had helped int he garden recently, but hadn't danced.

I was really honest about whether I would do more or less in 12 months and really quite open about my volunteering and coaching. It has been a busy month going to meeting about rugby – which of course all count.

Overall, it was very exciting to be part of this survey after years of commenting on it. The survey questions are below in the attached PDF.

Being part of the survey highlighted even further for me how behind the times it is for gathering accurate data. Compared to the live data I have available from my wearables what I was able to supply was subjective, inaccurate and little guess work. I do believe there is a much better way to use technology to capture much more accurate data and my experience makes me more determined to push this agenda.

Tags: Aps, Sport England

Swimming Response to Active People Survey Results

Posted: Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:32

Swimming Response to Active People Survey Results

Swimming Response to Active People Survey Results

Response to Latest Sport England Participation Figures

29 January 2015

The ASA is disappointed and concerned that Sport England figures released today (29 January) show a fall in the number of people participating in swimming.

The Active People Survey (APS) measures the number of adults (16+) taking part in sport across England. The results from APS8 show that during the period October 2013 – October 2014, 2,689,200 adults participated in swimming for 30 minutes or more at least once a week. This was a decrease of 243,800 adults (8 per cent) on figures from two years ago (APS6 Oct 2011/12).

ASA Chief Executive, Adam Paker, said: "We are surprised to see such a fall in the number of those swimming regularly. There is now the opportunity for us to work towards a significant improvement and we are determined to seize this.

"We have already made a number of significant changes within our own organisation to ensure the ASA is fit to respond to these challenges, including a new programme of insight to help us attract new audiences and re-engage lapsed swimmers.

"We are already working closely with our partners to identify and overcome any barriers that may exist, and will continue to develop our innovative sport and fitness programmes.

"Swimming continues to offer many positive health and social benefits and the ASA, with the support of Sport England, remains committed to ensuring everyone has access to the sport regardless of their age or ability."

ASA Group Board chairman, Edward Lord, added: "We share Sport England's disappointment that their statistics point to a fall in the number of those swimming on a regular basis.

"There is clearly a major issue here and we will be putting all our resources into finding out both the cause of the fall in participation numbers and in identifying how we can move quickly with our partners to reverse that decline."

To visit the Sport England website and read a full version of the APS8, click here.

Tags: APS, asa, sport England

State of Our 'sector' in 2015

Posted: Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:29

State of Our 'sector' in 2015

Like most people working in our NGBs I have been bombarded with statistics today about the state of the sport and physical activity sector. First we have seen the latest Active People Survey figures – where the overall headline is a fall in participation numbers. The main topic of debate today has been the performance of swimming where the numbers have fallen dramatically again. well the APS figires have fallen again.

Have a quick look yourself and let me have your thoughts via twitter or facebook or linkedin.

On the other hand I also received the annual Health Club Handbook today (electronically) and have read with interest the variety of statistics and prediction contained here from a number of friends and colleagues. Even in the most successful sectors (the low cost gyms) the pressures are starting to build again. A strong customer focus or the right price is an necessity just to survive in the gym market

The reason I read right across the sector is because most consumers like me don't see the separation. I play sport inside and outside of an NGB (rugby & badminton). I train in a gym ( A Fusion one) and I train alone by running or walking or even doing free weights at home. As a consumer I don't see the artificial barriers between these sectors. It is a wide picture of sport and physical activity and we need to see greater cooperation across all parts to generate even more activity – but is this possible when we are all chasing the same customers for our bottom line or the same people to be participation for the Sport England Whole Sport Plan cash?

Tags: Aps, Gyms, Health Clubs, Sport England

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