Blog & News from SajeImpact - Tags: Women in sport

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: Women in sport

Celebrations and Challenges Ahead for Sport

Posted: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 12:03

Celebrations and Challenges Ahead for Sport

Celebrations and Challenges Ahead for Sport


It has been a bit of a topsy turvy sort of week for us at SajeImpact as we have been able to celebrate what is best about sport, feel the challenges ahead as the landscape changes and partnerships are strained and then see the global integrity of sports governance crumble one again in the media spotlight.

I started the week with 3 days at the Sport and Recreation Alliance Leadership convention – and this year it was certainly about learning about leadership from outside the sector as much as from within. I have always been a great advocate of learning new lessons so this was a great 3 days mixing with so many sports friends.

on the evening of the 4th November I attended the IoG awards ceremony. I have to admit to having visions of a hundred people in a room and a few trophies. It was none of that. Every time I think I start to fully appreciate the size and extent of the sports sector I am blown away by another hidden gem. There were 650 people all quite rightly proud of the progress we have made in creating playing surfaces for our sports to take place. It was great that the first winners were Leicester City FC. The ground has been amazing and looked great for the RWC games played there in October.

I spent a day trying to extend the collaboration across the sector by attending the UKActive Summit. I have blogged over at about the unhelpful language – trying to squeeze out the word sport and claiming sport was dead. I think we are all in this together and creating artificial and unnecessary divisions are unhelpful.

Friday saw me at WorldVision Boards in London and a day rounded off by attending the Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year #SWOTY at the Sky Studios. A little like attending the BEDSA awards, it is a useful reminder to be in the minority at such events. There was so much to celebrate for women in sport this year – but as the Women in Sport Trophy Women report launched that morning showed there is also a long way to go.

This week has seen the launch of #GetYourKitOn campaign through the Sport and Recreation Alliance, as the reality of the CSR cuts likely to hit sport on the 25th November CSR announcement loom large. A range of media interviews and briefing have kept me busy!

Of course we launched the grass roots campaign on the same day as WADA launched its report into systemic drug cheating in Russia and corruption in the IAAF. Not a great backdrop!

Clients have the benefit of the wide range of issues and partnerships I am involved with. Why not have a coffee to see what Saje Impact could do for you?

Tags: #getyourkiton, SRA, SWOTY, UkActive, Women in sport, sport

Groundbreaking #ThisGirlCan Launches Today

Posted: Mon, 12 Jan 2015 11:42

Groundbreaking #ThisGirlCan Launches Today

Groundbreaking #ThisGirlCan Launches Today

A major campaign led by Sport England and Women in Sport launches today – This Girl Can. In a ground breaking move the Government funded body will be advertising during the peak Coronation street Programme on ITV.

There are a whole series of resources and footage on the campaign site – This Girl Can

In my various roles we are all backing this campaign and its desire to get more women active and playing sport as the disparity between men and women is still far too wide.

"We are delighted to back this campaign and feel it does address the needs of those who don't currently take part in sport or exercise. I have felt for a long time that those of us who are mad/ keen on sport are sometimes the last people that should be used to target those who are not active! This campaign addresses that and tries to get over the barriers that exist.

"My only concern at this stage is the need for the sector to be ready to address the concerns and fears of women wanting to start to get active… and I mean the entire sector from volunteer led community clubs, to professionally led gyms. All can be daunting to newcomers however confident anybody is! There is also still a lot to do in our sector to get from an advert to joining in something locally. But I really hope this is a boost that helps this happen.

Tags: #thisgirlcan, Women In Sport

About Time to Recognise Women's Sport Contribution

Posted: Sun, 04 Dec 2011 15:54

I see some national women‘s teams have done rather well this week. The WRFU are pretty happy because they have done what the men‘s team fail to do very often - beat NZ.

This comes after controversy this week when the shortlist for the BBC sport Personality of the Year (#Spoty) showed no women had got into the top 10. I have commented via twitter on this and have pretty scathing of the publications chosen to create the shortlist - which included Nuts & Zoo!

So once again I was angered when I saw the reaction to the Slaughter & May report to the RFU changes in governance. One of the recommendations dared to suggest that the Board be made up of women, minority ethnic communities and people with a disability. As usual up goes the cry of ‘political correctness gone mad' from the usual suspects. There are so few women, ethnic minorities and disabled playing rugby why should they have voice goes the cry from the old guard. Why couldn‘t these people just stop for once now and then and ask why there are so few people from these parts of our society playing - perhaps because of the attitudes expressed by this ignorance.

Women have just beaten NZ as we have seen. The game could grow if men learned a little more about how to attract women to the game. Guess what having more than one woman on Council mat help them understand that! The same goes with ethnic minorities and people with a disability. It is a scandal that more work is not done to reach the black & Asian communities. And Wheelchair rugby is sold out at the Para Olympics. Rugby does have a Deaf team and other disabilities are encouraged - so why not grow this part of the game too by having a disability representative who could develop its growth. I am passionate about disability sport but I am not sure the right person to speak up for people with a disability and their needs within rugby.

Strangely the dinosaurs who will probably shout down these proposals will probably find a way to keep the armed forces, universities, colleges and Oxbridge represented. But there will be no room for these other ‘minorities' ie the 50% of the population who are women, 6% ethnic minority and 6 million people with a disability. Without good governance and some people moving into the 21st Century it looks like the RFU could be demonstrating it is only interested in some minorities. Posh kids!

Tags: RFU, governance, women in sport

This wasn't "harmless banter"

Posted: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 13:39

Sky Sports presenters today said they were sorry for the comments they made about women officials in the game of football. Sky Sports Story.

As usual the defence is that these were comments off mike and just banter. I am sorry that is simply not good enough. There is a serious issue here. You need to read and indeed listen to the comments. They weren't banter this was a serious conversation with feeling.

Now I agree we can't police every private conversation and these views will be shared by thousands of sports people. But that doesn't make it right. We have moved a long way in the last 30 years in recognising the role of women in sport - but clearly not far enough.

Personally I think resignation is too good for them. Perhaps they could clean the boots of the England Women’s team for a year.

Sport at leadership level in NGBs has a long way to go before understanding the massive contribution women make at every level – from grassroots to providing some of the best elite athletes this country has produced. Idiots like this put progress and reconfirm to those looking from outside (often with funding) that sport is run by a bunch of dinosaurs. Sorry lads you don’t speak for me and hopefully millions of genuine sports fans.

Tags: Football, Sky Sport, Sport, Women In Sport

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