February 2021,

Michael Scott to step down as Chief Executive of High Performance Sport New Zealand

Michael Scott is stepping down as Chief Executive of High Performance Sport New Zealand after three years at the helm.

The former Head of Rowing Australia and Performance Director at Swimming Australia is heading home to be close to family.

Scott will leave High Performance Sport New Zealand on 23 April 2021. Sport New Zealand Chief Executive Raelene Castle will step into the role in an acting capacity, alongside her Sport New Zealand position, while the Board considers next steps. This decision is aimed at ensuring continuity and momentum with strategic priorities most notably supporting athletes and sports in the journey towards the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Although I’ve called time on this chapter earlier than anticipated, COVID-19 has resulted in a tough decision to return to Melbourne to be closer to family. It wasn’t an easy decision to reach. It has been a privilege to work alongside the quality people and partners we have within New Zealand high performance sport,” says Michael Scott.

“I know however that I leave the organisation in excellent hands, launching a new strategy next week that will strengthen the system and provide future generations of athletes and coaches with the best possible experience and chance to succeed.”

Scott’s career has traversed an array of roles in high performance sport in multiple countries; he was also National Performance Director at British Swimming and Chief Executive of the 2007 World Swimming Championships Corporation. He became the sixth Director of the Australian Institute of Sport having previously been appointed the inaugural Director of the New South Wales Institute of Sport.

Scott was instrumental in leading the development of the 2032 High Performance System Strategy in New Zealand; a foundation document developed collaboratively by the sector to address acknowledged challenges and anticipate change needed in order for New Zealand to continue its success on the world stage.

“Michael’s vision for system level transformation has taken the sector on a courageous journey; one which has set us up for collective and repeatable future success on the world stage,” said Bill Moran, Chair of High Performance Sport New Zealand and Sport New Zealand.

“Our sector has faced significant challenges over the past few years, not least the emergence of COVID-19 and delays to Tokyo 2020. I thank Michael for his leadership through these difficult times and wish him well as he returns home,” said Moran.

Moran says the Board will take the opportunity to consider options for High Performance Sport New Zealand’s structure and leadership in response to its new strategic vision and direction. “COVID-19 has prompted our partners and many within the sector to consider how they future proof themselves, we are no different and intend to use this moment in time wisely.”



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Philip Clark

M: 0278 385 710

E: philip.clark@sportnz.org.nz