Blog & News from SajeImpact - Tags: Sports Think Tank

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 Think Tank

The Importance of Implementation

Posted: Wed, 02 Nov 2016 08:44

The Importance of Implementation

The Importance of Implementation

Sporting Future prompted a wide ranging review of sports policy. Now it's time for implementation

This is my latest column in The Sports Management magazine.

While sports fans were watching the events in Rio, many working in sports policy – myself included – were working to make sense of the details needed to deliver the government's two reports, Sporting Future and Towards An Active Nation.

When my children ask what I did between Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, I'll have to say I was doing sports policy reviews!

A flurry of detail will emerge over the coming weeks, as we see the publication of new Governance code details, as well as the volunteering strategy and the workforce strategy from CIMSPA.

And there's more – my County Sports Partnerships review landed in the summer, while the Duty of Care Review, which is being led by Tanni Grey-Thompson, will be delivered soon. In addition, the School Games review and the School Swimming Reviews will soon be with various government ministers who will be preparing to act on their recommendations.

The government is due to report to parliament on its progress in relation to actioning Sporting Futures in January 2017 – a year on from its publication.

This is likely to be at the point when most follow-on details have only just emerged and little will have changed at the coal face in sport and physical activity, however, I expect the sector to move towards acting rather than reviewing in 2017.

This year, a great deal of time and effort has gone into assessing and realigning strategies and priorities. The extent of the changes outlined in Sporting Future means many people will have been taken out of their comfort zones, but hopefully they're being forced to talk and create partnerships across and outside the sector.

According to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) the sector makes a £39bn contribution to the economy and employs over 400,000 people. So while the government and Sport England are important players, there are hundreds of thousands of people who are untouched by these changes in priorities. This particularly strikes me as I meet people who work in sport, but are not connected to the core markets we associate with our sector.

Importantly, the success of all these reviews and strategies will be measured in terms of their success in reversing the trend towards inactivity and its impact on society. It won't be measured by who's doing what and who's doing it best and who's shouting about it the most.

The tide of inactivity is so overwhelming none of us can tackle it alone. We need to work smarter in collaboration with our sector, as well as creating new partnerships outside our comfort zone, in areas such as transport, housing, health and community.

So as the details are finalised, the period of reflection and planning will end and the new strategies will breathe life into every community up and down the country, trying to get a nation active.

Andy Reed is a former MP for Loughborough and the founder of Sports Think Tank.

Follow @sportsmag for regular updates on this and other sports news.

Tags: Andy Reed, Sports Management Magazine, Sports Think Tank

Sports Think Tank Launches Reports and 'Conversation' Series

Posted: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 19:39

Sports Think Tank Launches Reports and 'Conversation' Series

Sports Think Tank Launches Reports and 'Conversation' Series

The Sports Think Tank has launched a Report on Erasmus+ and Brexit this week as well as an online forum on a debate between Nick Rowe and Professor Fred Coalter on Social Capital or Sporting Capital.

Conversations with a Purpose series – Social or Sporting Capital

Erasmus+ Report launch and document

Tags: Erasmus, Social Capital, Sporting Capital, Sports Think Tank

Translating Sports Policy - My Sports Management Column

Posted: Wed, 15 Jun 2016 14:05

When we first established the Sports Think Tank it was seen predominantly as a translation service for academic and evidence-based policy work to find its way into Westminster and Whitehall in order to create good sport policy.

As we've toured the country at conferences and events, however, it has become increasingly evident that sometimes there needs to be translation between Westminster and grassroots.

I was recently struck at a conference of sports people, who had come to learn about the government's new Sporting Future strategy, that less than a third of the 120 people I was speaking to had actually read the document. Given that most in the room would be affected by the investment decisions being made by Sport England as a consequence, I was slightly surprised.

There are many areas to pick up over the coming months in the massive change in direction in the Sport England strategy, but these were all obvious from the original DCMS Sporting Future document. In another meeting an NGB CEO told me he would be busy in the summer writing their next 'Whole Sport Plan'. This was from somebody who had actually read the strategy. Clearly the language of change was not as clear as we thought.

In particular, I wonder whether we understand just how different the skill sets required in the sector will be. It can't all be about sporty types and programmes for our new target consumers.

I used to work in a local authority recreation and arts department which was located next to the community development team. Ironically these teams – long gone I suspect from most local authorities – would be ideally placed to co-create the activity programmes of many of the communities identified in Sporting Futures as the target of increased investment and resources.

While there is some welcome news about trying to maintain the existing nature of our sports and exercise sector, we know increased investment will be going into new place-based projects outside our normal delivery routes. We need to get used to this.

The key to the strategies – both DCMS and Sport England – is about genuine collaboration. You will hear me return to this theme time and time again.

As an individual – and through the Think Tank – we are 'delivery neutral', ie, we support initiatives which are backed up by evidence of effectiveness.

However, to external stakeholders the sports sector doesn't come across as particularly united and that matters. It frustrates me that some of this is still going on. Lack of unity always weakened our government lobby as a sector.

If the new sports strategy is genuinely focussed on a consumer approach, its quality and delivery will be decided from the consumer's perspective in very different communities and settings – not the traditional bodies good at filling in application forms for the lottery or grants.

At recent StreetGames and Sported presentations, I was struck about the 'roaming distances' of disengaged young people on some of the most deprived estates in the UK – apparently it's usually less than a few hundred metres from their community. We forget this at our peril.

Framing the strategy by listening and acting on the desires of those who are currently disengaged will tip our models upside down and will be uncomfortable for many in sport. That is absolutely fine. Stick to running good sports teams and clubs. This is still necessary and very desirable. But don't chase the new investment for the sake of it. There are some tough choices ahead.

Tags: Sports think tank

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

Reed to give Evidence to Activity Commission

Posted: Sat, 22 Feb 2014 19:59

Reed to give Evidence to Activity Commission

Andy Reed will be giving evidence to the All Party Commission on Physical Activity on Monday 24th February

As part of the work through SajeImpact with Fleishman Hillard on sports and Public Policy Andy Reed was heavily involved in setting up the Commission.

Andy said "It is great to have the opportunity to put forward the views of the organisations I am able to represent from the Sport and Recreation Alliance, The Sports Think Tank and the various clients we have supported over recent years. Their experiences will bring great insight to the Commission.


Tags: S&RA, Sports think Tank, activity commission

Seeking Intern for Sports Think Tank & Sports Leaders

Posted: Tue, 17 Dec 2013 22:04

Seeking Intern for Sports Think Tank & Sports Leaders

The Sports Think Tank and Sports Leaders UK are seeking applications for a joint intern post. The details are attached at the Sports Think Tank website or at Sports Leaders UK

Please submit your application by the 10th January 2014.

Sports Leaders UK and the Sports Think Tank have joined together to offer an exciting opportunity to support both organisations in raising their profiles within the political arena and help build new strategic partners for both organisations. In order to do this they are looking for an enthusiastic, flexible individual with a high degree of self-motivation.

In return the successful candidate will be supported to acquire a range of skills and experience. Please note that detailed information on both organisations and further information on the role can be found in the supporting background information which will be provided as part of the application pack.

To apply you will have the following:

Educated to at least degree level or equivalent in a political, public services or related area of study

Previous experience of working in a team with others in a collaborative environment

Experience working in a role in which clear communication is essential, both face to face and by telephone/ email

Basic level of stakeholder management with high profile individuals and organisation

Skilled in preparing simple reports, gathering research and presenting recommendations

Able to work on a daily basis in Milton Keynes and to work weekly in London

Some travel within UK involving occasional overnight stays and weekend work

For an application pack and background information on the post please contact Helen Hudd, Human Resources Administration on 01908 689215 or by email at

Or view/download an application pack from our website

Closing date is: Friday 10th January 2013 at NoonInterviews will be held in Milton Keynes on: Monday 20th January 2014

Tags: Intern Sports Leaders, Sports Think Tank

Sports Think Tank - Broadcasting

Posted: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 17:36

As part of my passion for sports policy I helped co-found the Sports Think Tank to give some space for thinking and thought leadership in the sector. We enjoy receiving evidence and best practise in sport to prevent duplication.

Last week we held an event with Eurosport UK on the future of broadcasting and what it means for smaller sports and NGBs. The blog below was from the Chair James Thellusson.

Broadcasters appear to have an insatiable appetite for sports rights. Sports sponsors salivate at the chance to build engagement with fans through sports content. And so the money pours in. The big sports all seem to be in good nick. But what about the smaller sports? For those without the fans to drive big audiences the financial future seems less certain.

Or is it? Will internet TV and the impact of technology actually allow smaller sports to drive up the value of the sport to sponsors, broadcasters and others? To turn them into TV production houses, to help them create new formats, tournaments and platforms to build fans, participants and partnerships? In conjunction with leading sports broadcaster British Eurosport, recently we gathered a group of leading executives from NGBs, brands and the world of politics to discuss how technology and especially broadcast technology might shape the future. A summary note of the proceedings is attached and, of course, anyone wishing to find out more is welcome to make a comment below or contact us direct.

Tags: Eurosport Uk, Sports Think Tank

Oh No - an Announcement!

Posted: Sat, 11 Aug 2012 17:07

This is a copy of the Blog I have just posted over at The Sports Think Tank in response to the School sport announcment made by the PM today:

Stuck in the media spotlight for more than 48 hours on a tricky policy area and our worst nightmare here at the Sports Think Tank happens - a rushed 'announcement'. This time School Sport. Much of what I wanted to say was summarised by Alistair Campbell over at his Blog today - also expressing that sinking feeling about a rushed 'announcement'. I am sure he would know as he will have been in the same place numerous times. It is why we set up this think tank. It is set up by people who know the political pressures to come up with 'something' but who want this to be properly researched and based on evidence - not the usual anecdotal evidence and sound bites.

School sport has been a massive victim of this and has descended into some political squabbling. It is trite nonsense to see school sport policy in terms of competitive sport or nothing - especially in primary schools. Even Jess Ennis slapped down the PM last week when on BBC she said "- Don't introduce competitive sport too early at the start it more about having fun and enjoying sport" (I paraphrase)So when you see the news today there will be thousands of teachers, coaches and anybody involved in sport who will be throwing up their hands in despair. don't intend to break down the policy announcement here - that would be the sort of knee jerk reactions we want to avoid here - but the most telling question that comes across time after time is - Who have they asked or consulted? Clearly not the experts or those who know anything about school sport.What you will also see is everybody jumping on this bandwagon with their own particular magic solution. Againwe need to avoid this and collate the best practice and evidence from the UK and around the world.

To be fair to this government they did largely protect the elite UK Sport funding for Team GB to compete at these games and i suspect they will protect much of this funding for the Rio Cycle too. In Community Sport through Sport England we can squabble about the exact figures but largely the lottery funding remains in place and will increase post Olympics and with the change to lottery distribution. There is a big question mark over the future of DCMS funding but this has always been a small part of the landscape. One of the BIGGEST worries will be the future of the £1-2bn spent by Local Government on sports provision which IS having a massive impact on community sport. This is why here at the Think Tank we constantly call for joined up cross departmental thinking and strategy.

Finally - just as importantly we need this to be a wider debate than just about competitive sport. If we are to ever have some joined up government thinking we need all children doing the internationally recognised 1 hour per day of activity. This means physical activity and not JUST team sport - it may even include Indian Dancing to keep fit for some!

Tags: 2012, Cameron, School Sport, Sports Think Tank

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