Blog & News from SajeImpact - Tags: Sporting Equals

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: Sporting Equals

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

Sporting Equals Leaderboard

Posted: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 08:58

Sporting Equals Leaderboard

Sporting Equals Leaderboard

Christine Ohuruogu and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson to attend 2016 Sporting Equals Leaderboard Conference at EY Headquarters

Sporting Equals, the UK's leading charity promoting ethnic diversity in sport and physical activity have announced EY will host the third Leaderboard Conference on Tuesday 22nd November, 2016.

The 2016 Leaderboard Conference will focus on supporting National Governing Bodies and sports organisations to increase ethnic diversity in their boardrooms whilst also helping them to meet the requirements of the new Governance Code which will shortly be announced. A new resource, as well as an innovative partnership, will also be launched on the day of the event.

Attendees at the invite only event will include leading figures from Sport England, UK Sport, Youth Sport Trust and a select number of corporates as well as members of the press and media.

Sporting Equals are delighted to announce that Olympic and Paralympic legends Christine Ohuruogu MBE and Baroness Tanni Grey- Thompson will be attending the event, which will be hosted by Sky Sports presenter Mike Wedderburn.

Arun Kang, CEO Sporting Equals, commenting on the initiative said:

"The Sporting Equals Leaderboard event is an important date in the diary for the sport sector as it assesses the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people that are represented in decision making roles such as board positions (3%) and senior management teams (7%). BAME communities make up 14% of the UK population, however, only a few are in these key roles that will help sport engage and empathise with the challenges facing underrepresented 'untapped' communities in sport."

"We are delighted to be hosting Sporting Equals Leaderboard Conference. EY's Sport Industry Group works to deliver rigour, measure impact and unlock potential for clubs, leagues, governing bodies and major event organisers, as well as investors, commercial rights holders and sponsors. At EY we have long valued individual differences and have worked hard to build a culture that embraces diversity and inclusiveness."

"I'm delighted to be supporting the Sporting Equals Leaderboard programme. The continued work of Sporting Equals will I'm sure go a long way to helping create a long term solution for BAME professionals and former athletes as they look to secure board level positions in sport.I am looking forward to attending the conference and becoming more involved."

© 2015 Sporting Equals

Tags: #leaderboard, Sporting Equals

Commons Reception to highlight lack of BAME Diversity in Sport

Posted: Thu, 12 May 2016 10:36

Commons Reception to highlight lack of BAME Diversity in Sport

Commons Reception to highlight lack of BAME Diversity in Sport

Denise Lewis OBE, former Olympian Gold Medallist and Sol Campbell the former England International footballer and the only player to have represented England in six consecutive major tournaments, will be headlining a high level House of Commons reception on May 12th to endorse the work of Sporting Equals.

We are delighted at SajeImpact to have been supporting Sporting Equals with this event, as we need to raise the issue with decision makers.

Sporting Equals are the sports charity that exists to actively promote greater involvement in sport and physical activity by disadvantaged communities particularly the black and minority ethnic population. They are the national partner of Sport England and advisors to the Department of Culture Media and Sport.

The Sporting Equals "Promoting Ethnic Diversity in Sport" event will feature MPs and Lords along with senior representatives from the sport sector including governing bodies and invited media.

The key purpose of the event will be to lobby support from key politicians to support Sporting Equals ongoing work to increase ethnic diversity in sport at all levels in sport from the playing fields to the boardrooms.

Sporting Equals research highlights that black and minority ethnic (BME) communities are seriously under-represented when it comes to the number of coaches (3%) and the number of people on the boards of governing bodies in sport (3%) and in participation some BME groups are also under represented for example only 18% of Muslim women participate in sport.

Tags: Sajeimpact, Sporting Equals, denise lewis, house of commons, sol campbell

Sporting Equals & BEDSA 2016

Posted: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 10:37

Sporting Equals & BEDSA 2016

Sporting Equals & BEDSA 2016

We need to be taking the under representation of the BME community in sport with the same vigour, enthusiasm and budget as the #thisgirlcan campaign. That;s why we are delighted to be adding Sporting Equals to our base of organisations we work alongside.

Andy said "It is vital that the insight around the participation levels of the BME community is understood and more importantly that the tools to tackle this problem are put in the hands of sports organisations across the country."

"We have been working with Sporting Equals for some time and we are really pleased to formalise this approach as we are deeply committed to issues of equality in sport. Already we have been working with BARA in rugby and will be announcing further work with the Asian Sports Trust in due course. We have proved with our BARA work in Leicester as part of the Rugby World Cup that there is an appetite for Asian participation, and all too often it is about breaking down perception and cultural barriers.

We attended the BEDSA last year and we are looking forward to being there again in 2016. We will be doing what we can to promote the awards and have some great sponsorship opportunities related to the event. If you are interested in showcasing your work and showing a commitment to work with the BME community please do get in touch.

Tags: BAME, BEDSA, sport, sporting equals

Saje Impact to work with Sporting Equals

Posted: Sat, 06 Jun 2015 10:12

Saje Impact to work with Sporting Equals

Saje Impact to work with Sporting Equals

Saje Impact announces a new partnership programme with Sporting Equals

"Sporting Equals exists to actively promote greater involvement by all communities that are disengaged especially the black and minority ethnic population in sport and physical activity. We are the primary driver and funding channel for national and regional programmes in this field.

We work closely with both the providers of sporting opportunities (national governing bodies, local authorities and agencies, sports organisations) and the users of sporting opportunities (community and faith groups, local clubs, charities and individuals). We also have strong links with NHS agencies and other organisations addressing health inequalities in society.

Our mission is to make a sustainable difference to the inclusion of all under-represented communities in sport and physical activity, so as to improve the long-term opportunities and health outcomes of those communities.

"Sporting Equals and Saje Impact are delighted to be working together" said Andy Reed. " We are already supporting British Asian Rugby Association and we believe there will be some synergies here. My own background in Leicester and Loughborough have always made me aware of the barriers that still exist for BAME communities in accessing sporting opportunities. My anecdotal experience is backed up be the APS figures regularly.

We will help Sporting Equals promote their work to policy makers, and to commercial partners.

Tags: BAME, sporting equals

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