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Rowing NZ announces three senior appointments

Rowing New Zealand announces three senior appointments

Richard Tonks has renewed his contract as Head Coach for the next Olympic cycle. Pending completion of searches for permanent appointees, Luke van Velthooven has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer, and Judith Hamilton as Interim High Performance Manager.

Rowing New Zealand Chairman, Bill Falconer, said that Rowing New Zealand’s endeavours to recruit a CEO to replace Craig Ross had failed to produce a candidate who met all of the organisation’s requirements, or who was able to relocate to Karapiro where the sport is headquartered. “We have decided to start the search process afresh,”explained Mr Falconer. “But in the interim are pleased that Luke van Velthooven has been able to make himself available to lead some key functions.”

Mr Falconer said Luke was one of the preferred candidates when Rowing New Zealand recruited Craig Ross. “He is a successful businessman in Marlborough with a number of companies including a major project management enterprise, and we are fortunate that he has been able to organise his affairs to take on this role.” Luke is a former New Zealand representative, and is currently Manager of rowing’s Central Region High Performance Centre. Over the next few months he will focus on producing the strategic plan for rowing through to the London Olympics, including in particular a plan for securing the necessary funding for the retention of elite rowers, and for the pathway Regional Performance Centre programme for emerging national squad representatives. He will also be working closely with Tom Mayo, the CEO of K2010 Limited, which has responsibility for staging and raising the funds for the 2010 World Championships.

Richard Tonks has been New Zealand's most successful international coach, and his retention as Head Coach has cemented one of the cornerstones of Rowing New Zealand's high performance programme through to the London Olympics in 2012, including the World Championships in Karapiro in 2010. The high performance programme is led by a Commission comprising the Selectors and representatives of the Board, but Richard's coaching and preparation principles have been central to New Zealand's successes at all levels - Elite, Under-23 and Junior - in recent years, and Rowing New Zealand is delighted they remain available to the programme.

After six years as High Performance Manager for Rowing New Zealand, it was sad but not unexpected that Andrew Matheson should accept the opportunity to take up the position of National High Performance Director for Rowing Australia.

“This created the opportunity for us to introduce new blood to the programme, and we have heard already from an impressive range of contenders who will be applying to replace Andrew,”added Mr Falconer.

“In the meantime we are delighted that Judith Hamilton has accepted the role on an interim basis. Judith has been a member of the high performance team at various levels over recent years, and has managed the programme during Andrew's absence before. She is a former New Zealand representative rower and coach, and is currently coach of the Auckland Regional High Performance Centre.”

Mr Falconer said that it was a tribute to Rowing New Zealand's managers, coaches and Board that Rowing New Zealand had managed through the past year and the challenges of that without missing a beat.

“Their success can be seen from the fact that New Zealand's rowers performed so admirably at Beijing, Brandenburg and Linz producing six World Championship and three Olympic medals. But more resources are now required and we are delighted that the interim appointees are of such high calibre."


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