Raelene Castle, who grew up in Bucklands Beach, has been appointed as the next CEO of Sport NZ.
She replaces Peter Miskimmin who steps down on December 11 after 11 years in the role. Castle will commence her role on December 15.
Castle – who attended Macleans College – is one of Australasia’s leading sports administrators, having most recently held the positions of CEO at Rugby Australia and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Prior to this she was CEO of Netball New Zealand from 2007 to 2013.
Outside of her extensive leadership experience, she has held several governance roles in sport, previously serving as a board director of SANZAR (Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship), the ANZ Championship netball competition and the International Netball Federation (INF). Raelene moved into sports administration after a fifteen-year commercial career, working in management roles for some and New Zealand’s leading companies. She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in 2015 for services to Business and Sport.
“Raelene brings tremendous breadth and depth of experience as a CEO in sports administration and is a proven people and organisational leader. The Board of Sport NZ see her has the ideal person to lead our organisation forward as we continue our important work in addressing declining participation among young people and protecting the strength and integrity of our sector,” says Sport NZ chairman Bill Moran.
“Raelene is an open and down-to-earth leader. She is someone who has tackled complex and challenging matters, working with and through others. She also deeply understands the sport and recreation landscape and the value this brings to individuals, communities and our society.”
Castle says she is excited about the opportunity this role presents and is honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead the organisation that serves as the kaitiaki of Aotearoa New Zealand’s play, active recreation and sport sector.
“My time in Australasian sport has shown me the critical role sport and recreation play in bringing communities together and the positive impact those experiences have on society. I am looking forward to working with our partners and colleagues across Government and our sector to ensure more New Zealanders, particularly our tamariki and rangatahi, are able to enjoy quality participation experiences.”
“I believe I am joining Sport NZ at a key moment in our sector’s history. Covid-19 has had an enormous impact at all levels of the sector but with the Sport Recovery Package there is a once in a lifetime opportunity to solidify the sector and reshape it to be more robust and deliver more participation opportunities. I’m looking forward to being part of that work,” says Castle.
“I am deeply passionate about diversity and inclusion. It will be a key focus for me to ensure that young people from many diverse backgrounds have the opportunities to dream big and realise their potential, whether that’s as a leader, administrator, coach, volunteer or participant within our sector.”