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Chris Hooper Appointed as Netball Central Zone CEO

Chris Hooper Appointed as Netball Central Zone CEO

The new Netball Central Zone has today announced the appointment of Chris Hooper as its first Chief Executive Officer. Hooper comes to Netball Central with 15 years’ experience at CEO level, running large national youth development non-profit organisations in both New Zealand and the UK.

Originally from a Leisure and Recreation Management background, Chris has spent the last five years re-energising and revitalising the fortunes of the SCOUT movement in New Zealand, in a bid to get more young people motivated and into the great outdoors.

Chris has a wealth of experience in the successful management of volunteer-driven organisations and sees the challenges at Netball Central in the same light as those he has met in SCOUTS and Special Olympics. "Volunteers are the lifeblood in the non-profit sector, feeding new generations at the top level whether it be professional players, coaches and officials in sport, or competent leaders in SCOUTS. Communication, consultation and transparency are all critical factors in the successful management of such organisations and their respective communities,” he explained.

Netball Central Chair, Ian Collier, is delighted to have secured the signature of a proven CEO, who brings such a wide range of experience to the role. “We are extremely fortunate to have attracted a candidate of Chris’s calibre, having been responsible for leading the transformation of SCOUTS NZ over the last five years and also bringing his experience of working with the Special Olympics movement in the UK. Chris has a broad base of experience well suited to the challenges posed by this new role,” he explained.

“The new zone structure places an emphasis on bringing together both ends of the sport, from the local primary school team right through to the Haier Pulse at the elite level. The scale and scope of Chris’s new role is all-encompassing, building strong platforms for the game at all levels,” continued Collier.

“Chris will be supported by a board that fully represents the three regions within the zone, Western, Eastern and Wellington. Having a shared voice at both governance and management levels will help to strengthen what we have already achieved and secure a healthy and robust future for the sport.”

The new Netball Central Zone is part of Netball New Zealand’s move from a 12 region model to five major zones. Netball throughout the Central Zone will now see the benefits of merging 22 netball centres into 17, operating as efficient clusters such as Wellington, Manawatu, Wairarapa and Napier.

The newly-formed Netball Central Zone board sees the dissolution of the Central Pulse board and the Eastern, Western and Wellington boards, with the new board retaining the invaluable experience of Chair Ian Collier and board members Kerry Prendergast, Sue Gordon (Central Pulse), Sue Gould (Western) and Lee-Ann Taylor (Eastern). Other members include Shaun Clarke, Carol Sander (Wellington) and Chris McGeown, all who bring governance experience and successful backgrounds in business and finance.

“The new board guarantees continuity, as we aim to provide a seamless transition from the current structure to the new zone,” added Collier. “To aid with that transitional process, Haier Pulse General Manager Kyla Lange will remain with the business until the end of February. Kyla has been an integral member of the leadership team behind the transformation of the Pulse franchise over the last 18 months, making a significant contribution to revitalising the franchise and gaining the momentum that we now have. This is something that the board is most grateful for.”

Chris Hooper will be taking up his role with Netball Central early December.


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