A network to coordinate and strengthen New Zealand’s influence in the global sporting sector has been officially launched in Auckland this morning.
The New Zealand International Representatives Network for Sport (New Zealand IRN for Sport) was launched at a function by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Sport and Recreation the Hon. Grant Robertson.
The network is made up of 50+ highly capable and experienced New Zealanders who are committed to increasing the impact of our global sports leadership, while creating benefits for New Zealand, its National Sporting Organisations, its athletes, and people.
The objectives of the network are to:
Promote New Zealand - who we are and what we stand for
Connect, influence, and gain international insights for the benefit of New Zealand and of New Zealand Sport
Support New Zealand event strategies
Develop leaders and build capability
Fulfil Pacific and other international responsibilities
The New Zealand Olympic Committee assisted in the establishment of the NZ IRN for Sport.
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith says the network representatives sit on the top tables of global sport and help to make the decisions that matter.
“We’re a sports mad country with fantastic connections into the highest levels of global sport. Coordinating our influence across these decision-making bodies will deliver significant benefit to New Zealand,” she said.
“Launching this network will allow our international representatives to draw on each other’s experience and contacts for the betterment of the New Zealand sporting sector.”
Members of the network include sports lawyer and international governance expert Maria Clarke, one of New Zealand’s foremost influencers and leaders in global sports integrity, former WADA Director General David Howman, and Olympian (skeleton) and WADA Athletes’ Commission and Executive Board member Ben Sandford.
Sandford says the insight, influence and networks of members will guarantee we’re seizing and making the most of all opportunities that come our way.
“The network will allow for better coordination of those representing our nation overseas, ensuring that New Zealand’s interests can be advanced in a more cohesive way to deliver benefit to our athletes and sports,” he said.
“It’s a great step forward and we’re delighted to see our global reputation for integrity and excellence being maximised.”
The NZ IRN for Sport is open to new members who currently hold international governance roles in sport. The network is also looking for partnership opportunities to grow and support the work it does.