Blog & News from SajeImpact - Tags: Sports Tech

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: Sports Tech

Reed joins Panel at LiFT

Posted: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:42

Reed joins Panel at LiFT

Reed joins Panel at LiFT

Andy Reed joined the panel for the latest LiFT event in London on Tuesday evening.

The LiFT is a programme of networking events that enhances interaction and dialog between the innovators, investors, business leaders and sports/fitness organisations that are shaping the industry.

Currently held in London once a quarter, The LiFT is produced by the team at Racefully, and supported by friends and partners includingCrowdshed and The Raine Group.

Andy said "I have been meeting the founders of this great network over the last year or so..and just love the spirit of a group of creative people with some great business ideas but wit a passion to make a difference in the sport and physical activity space. It was great to share a different perspective from a policy point of view and to learn so much from the entrepreneurs in the room."

For more details –

Tags: Lift, London, Sports Tech, Sports Think Tank

Will or When will Sports Tech Replace the Personal Fitness Coach?

Posted: Fri, 17 Jul 2015 20:11

Will or When will Sports Tech Replace the Personal Fitness Coach?

Will Sports Tech Replace the Personal Fitness Coach

At Saje Impact we have been increasingly working with clients helping the sport and fitness sector ready itself for the future – or "Fit for the Future" in terms of the work being done at the S&RA. We are working with the PAPHRG here at Loughborough University and with a few Tech Start-Ups who I hope to see competing with the likes of Strava and Nike! Our work at the Sports Think Tank is all about helping policy makers keep up with developments in the sector – and developments from outside which will impact on the way we all work in the future. The problem is 'the future' is starting to happen right now.

I have been talking for some time in lectures and keynotes about the impact of emerging tech, the Internet of Things and the changing nature of society all colliding in the next few years to completely alter our landscape. Of course I generally believe this to be the case but there is a lot more work to be done to show how and more importantly – when? With all tech revolutions those of us at the forefront believe the world is about to adopt our thinking in the 'near future'. To us this is always in the next 2-3 years. Of course it is all a bit slower than this in reality. But the early adopters are already getting there and whilst our ideas are not quite mainstream just yet the speed with which an idea or product becomes global is now much faster.

This morning I was challenged by friends on a twitter exchange about this new 'Move' Product. Have a look at the claims in their promo video: YouTube video

I love being updated and challenged by Maneesh Juneja about emerging tech and we are doing a lot of thinking about what this means for our sector together. His specialism is Digital Health Technology but the crossovers are enormous. It was lucky this week that the challenge about replacing personal tutors could be taken on by @adamadaniel – one of our great MBA students at Loughborough University and of course – A personal fitness instructor! You can see the exchange and decide for yourself where we got to a conclusion – or at least an acknowledgement of the arguments.

Whilst this product is just a further improvement on current batch of apps and movement bands it does seem to challenge even further the need for any human interaction if you believe the hype of the advert. The Move is branded as 'your personal fitness coach'. But how far can this be true?

There are plenty of us who have invested in a tracker of some kind and millions of us who have been using the Apps like Starva, Nike, MapmyRun, Bounts, etc. There are way too many to count now. The question for me is what has this replaced in my life? I still get my rugby coaching from a qualified personal/ team coach. We are a long way from them being replaced.

But with increasing personalisation I see this is where the challenge lies for coaching and instruction. I guess when I am in the gym I could ask for some personal input – but this is where for me the tech has been taking over. I generally don't see much interaction between staff and users in most gyms. More often it seems as though they are cleaning machines or doing tours and inductions. I am fortunate I know some of the team personally so I get to chat – but rarely about my programme or performance. Combined with the level of general advice and understanding I have – and now with a little bit of tech involved I am creating my own personal goals and measurement. I wear my Jawbone Up24. To be honest it doesn't really work as a fitness tracker for me. It certainly doesn't convey enough information. Just knowing my general sleep pattern and how many steps I have taken isn't really enough. I need far more to know if I have been working hard – never mind mere moderate activity!

Therefore, I have been quite excited by the MyZone belt I have received and the great encouragement I get from their CEO Dave Wright in our social connections via the App. I have found myself in a small social circle of fitness nuts – and I am trying to stay the pace. That for me works and importantly the Myzone is about my effort – measuring my heart rate accurately during exercise. (Dave writes a great blog about why wrist based heart monitors aren't really good enough yet). Of course having to remember to take and wear my belt every time I want to measure activity is an issue with my chaotic lifestyle.

So I still have personal coaching available but I am steadily choosing my programmes online, via apps and technology that give us instant feedback. There will be much more exciting developments to come from what I have seen in the Labs. Millions of us are doing the same. We sign up to do a marathon. Do we join the local athletics club and ask for coaching advice? No we download the app, pop in our earphones and get out running to our spotify running playlist. Of course this is not for everybody and we always need to segment our markets and customers – but from sheer numbers we can see the market is enormous.

But back to the main point. Is Maneesh right that this replacement of human coaching & fitness instruction is taking place right in front of our eyes and we just haven't spotted it yet. Or is Adam nearer the mark. Can we really do all of this increased activity without the personal touch, the feedback, the reassessment and readjustment of our programmes.?

Image result for c4 humans

For those of us who have been watching & enjoying 'Humans' on C4 are we sleepwalking into this Synth world where our technology has developed to the extent that the algorithms are making better judgements about us than our human trainer?

We may laugh and be slightly challenged by the programme or we could start to take seriously the number of functions – even coaching functions that a Synth based algorithm could replace. I don't think Adam will be out of a job just yet but the scale of growth in fitness and running won't all be led by people like Adam – but the robots I have on order for 2020?

Tags: Personal Trainer, Sports Tech, Twitter

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