We are very pleased to annouce the keynote speaker for our Schools and Community Football Conference – Andy Reed. As an esteemed figure within sport across the UK, Andy is ideal to begin proceedings and establish the current context and issues in sport, community and school sport for what is set to be a quality conference. Please take some time to check out Andy’s bio below.
Read more about the conference here.
Andy was the Labour & Co-operative MP for Loughborough between 1997 and 2010 and he is now the Director of SajeImpact Ltd
. At SajeImpact Ltd Andy currently works with a host of organisations including the Youth Sport Trust, Sport Leaders and Sport Coach to name a few. In June 2012 he was awarded an OBE in the Queens Honours List for his contribution to sport and the Community.
“Andy has a wealth of experience and knowledge in community sport. He is someone who can really help set the scene for this conference, through expoloring the current issues and highlighting ways forward from a policy, research and delivery perspective. We are delighted to have Andy join us and we are certain that his presence will add to the impact and value of the conference.”
Andy holds positions and plays key roles in a number of sport bodies, Christian organisations and local charities. Here are some of the present organisations he supports:
Andy was born in Kettering in 1964 and adopted at the age of 3 months. He spent the first two years of his life on the Netherhall estate in Leicester before his parents moved to Birstall in 1966. He lived in Birstall until 1990 when he moved to Sileby. He was heavily involved in the Boys Brigade as a teenager. As well as playing one sport or another most days he was involved in Birstall Methodist Church. He served on Birstall Parish Council from 1987-91 (aged just 22) and was a governor at Stonehill School at this time too. He mainly played rugby at school although was a keen 100/200m runner. He represented Leicestershire Schools at rugby and athletics. He joined Birstall RFC in the 1980s. He played a season at Westleigh Colts and Chester (1985-86) before returning to Birstall RFC where he has played ever since. He has regularly played for the Commons & Lords Charity invitation side. He married Sarah in 1992 at Glenfield Methodist Church. They have 2 children – James & Emily. They now all live together in Quorn.
He was educated in Birstall at Riverside Infant & Junior school, Stonehill High school and Longslade Community College. He received an Honours Degree in Public Administration from DeMontfort University in 1987. After graduating he started working for Keith Vaz MP in 1987 before taking up a post at Leicester City Council Chief Executives’ Department, as part of the Urban Programme Team. He swiflty moved to become a Project Office in the Recreation & Arts Department in 1989. In 1990 he moved again, this time to Leicestershire County Council as a Project Officer in the Employment side of the Economic Development Team. After internal promotion he was then promoted again in 1994 to take up the post of European Officer for the County Council. In 1997 he became MP for Loughborough.During this time he had stood for office and became a Borough Councillor for the Sileby Ward on Charnwood Borough Council. He took up the portfolio as Chair for Economic Regeneration and sat on the Policy & Finance Committee. He had been a Parish Councillor in Birstall between 1987 and 1991 at the age of 22 where he was elected as Chair of the Playing Fields Committee. There are numerous sources of public information about his time as a Member of Parliament. Not least his former website – Andy Reed MP
He served the Loughborough seat as a Labour & Co-operative Member of parliament from May 1997 until May 2010. He was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to DCMS in 1998 serving with Sports Minister Kate Hoey MP & Chris Smith MP until the 2001 general election. He then became PPS to Margaret Beckett MP the Secretary of State for DEFRA. In 2003 he resigned from this position over the decision to go to war in Iraq. He was the first member of the government to do so. He returned to the back benches. In 2005 he was appointed to PPS to the Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo in the Treasury team under Gordon Brown. He also served on various Standing Committees – and was a member of the Tax Law Re-write Committee from 2005-10. He sat on two Finance Acts, Hunting with Hounds legislation as well as The Olympic Act and Olympic Lottery Act amongst others. He chaired the Parliamentary Sports Caucus and served on various All Party Groups as an officer. He was Secretary of the All Party Sports Group, Debt Aid and Trade Group (formally Jubilee Debt Campaign) from 1997-2010. Secretary of the All Party Bermuda Group. Vice Chair of the Athletics Group. Various Officer positions on Rugby Football Unioin, Tennis, Hockey, Basketball, The Olympics, Volunteering, Parkinson disease Group for example. In 2008 Andy was appointed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to coordinate the 2010 election manifesto for sport and the decade of sport 2010-2020.
During his time in Parliament Andy committed himself to working with the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship
. A number of advisory and voluntary posts arose out of this work. As a long standing and active member of Christian Socialist Movement
it was natural that Andy would combine his politics and faith. Andy Chaired the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship
and the National Prayer Breakfast Steering committee
. During this year he moved the NPB from the QEII Conference Centre into Westminster Hall at the heart of Parliament where it remains and grows year on year. Andy hosted the Bible Society
advocacy officer – Dr Dave Landrum and worked with the Bible Society on a wide range of projects. He visited China, Ethiopia, Palestine and Nigeria for example. He also helped with forging links with Jim Wallis in the US and promoting the publication Poverty & Justice Bible. Andy served on the Board of Christian Solidarity Worldwide
and raised the issue of persecution and human rights. he is now on their Council of Reference. He was on the Council of Reference for Oasis
, The Relationship Foundation
, and Keep Time for Children.
He was a regular on Premier Christian Radio.
Throughout the 13 years as MP for Loughborough Andy met weekly with a small cross party group of Christian MPs, affectionately known as G6
. Together they also produced a pamphlet ‘Faith in the Future’
. The MPs are Gary Streeter MP (Con), Stephen Timms MP (Lab), Jeffrey Donaldson MP (DUP), Caroline Spelman MP (Con) and Steve Webb MP (Lib Dem) Andy also worked with Interserve
in Central Asia and helped promote their Step into Justice campaigns alongside Emma Rigby (Hollyoaks)
and Tabitha Webb (Phantom of the Opera).
He is now on their Council of Reference. They are a B-engaged partner. In 2008 he joined the Council of the Evangelical Alliance
He had served on their Faith and Nation Commission. In 2009 he helped launch and participate in their campaign ‘Simplify’
He works with Micah Challenge
– “as I live my life by Micah 6:8.” he says. International development has always been a priority and therefore he also promotes the work of Tearfund. Andy has been a regular speaker at Christian events like Spring Harvest
He worked with CARE
by providing a place for their intern programme for several years. He worked with Jim Wallis from the USA promoting his book God’s Politics in the UK launch. He has authored a number of Pamphlets on Faith & Politics
and worked with Krish Kandiah on the book ‘Just Politics’
launched ahead of the General Election in 2010.
Andy is passionate about sport and physical activity – as you may have gathered from these pages! He played rugby at school and for Leicestershire. He also represented the school, area and county at athletics – as a 100m runner. He played volleyball for Leicester PVC and tennis for Sileby TC. He still plays rugby for Birstall RFC – where he is also now Vice-President of the Club. He is one of the longest serving playing members of the club(1986-2011). He runs and plays tennis socially. In parliament he played Rugby for the Commons & Lords RUFC mainly but also played for the Football team Hockey, cricket, tennis and captained the swimming team in their annual charity swimming gala. He was a Board Member of the Special Olympics in Leicester in 2009 as well as committing himself to the Sports Bodies in the County listed above. The Parliamentary Rugby has taken him to Australia (twice) South Africa, Japan, USA, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In 2011 the Parliamentary Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand. Andy has played at Twickenham 7 times through parliamentary rugby scoring 3 tries. The Parliamentary football team also plays charity and ‘glamour games’. The team have played at Wembley (old) and Wembley (new), Old Trafford, West Ham, Sunderland, Chelsea as well as regular fixtures at community grounds across London against charities & volunteers.