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Jennah Wootten appointed CE of Aktive

Jennah Wootten has been appointed the new Chief Executive of Aktive, replacing Dr Sarah Sandley who is stepping down after seven years in the role.

Currently General Manager Partnerships & Communication with Sport New Zealand, Ms Wootten has held a number of leading sports administration positions, including World Masters Games 2017 CEO and General Manager – Destination at ATEED. She is the Deputy Chair of Auckland Unlimited and a Director of Cricket 2021 Limited (2021 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup).

“Jennah brings significant sector knowledge and experience to the role, and is a proven people and organisational leader. Her credentials, connections and expertise will be incredibly valuable as we build on Aktive’s solid strategic framework and continue our important work on improving physical activity opportunities for Auckland and Aucklanders,” says Aktive Board Chair Graham Child.

“As expected there was a high level of interest in this role and a number of excellent candidates. Through a robust process, the Aktive Board has identified Jennah as the ideal person to continue the organisation’s strong leadership and deliver on its strategic direction. “

Mr Child adds: “Jennah has sat on both sides of the board table, navigated complexity and challenges, and has deep knowledge of both Tāmaki Makaurau and the sport and recreation sector. There will be a seamless leadership transition supported by a talented team and record funding levels across the region.”

Ms Wootten says she is excited about the opportunity this role presents.

“Aktive’s Kaupapa is something special. As a proud Aucklander, I feel privileged to have an opportunity to work with Aktive’s partners and the wider sector to realise the vision of Auckland being the world’s most active city. 

“We know the positive difference that quality physical activity can have on lives and this can only be fully realised through strategic partnerships and collective action. I am looking forward to collaborating with the sector to maximise opportunities for Aucklanders, particularly for those people and communities who are missing out.”

Ms Wootten was appointed by a selection panel, including an independent representative, following an extensive search. She will commence at Aktive on 31 May and replaces Dr Sandley who is moving to Australia.

“Sarah is an inspiring and outstanding leader and has been pivotal in Aktive’s establishment and its vision,” says Mr Child. “The Board thanks Sarah for her knowledge, experience and leadership, and we wish her every success.”

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