2019 is rapidly coming to a close and 2020 dawns nearer and nearer. It has been a successful year for our Vantage Black Sticks teams, putting in some strong performances in the inaugural FIH Pro League as well as building towards (and achieving) their ultimate goal of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. We can all look forward to seeing some quality International Hockey next year.
The purpose of this note is to outline a recent process the Board has gone through to identify the skills required on the Board over the next two or three years as natural succession comes into play. I am really hopeful that by sharing our needs early, the Hockey Community can put our collective thinking caps on and encourage those with the necessary skills to put themselves forward to assist with the governance of our sport. Often we leave this process too late and capable people do not get the opportunity to consider the contribution they can make before the formal process gets underway.
At the AGM in April there will be three vacancies: an elected female position, an elected male position and an appointed position which, to ensure our board diversity is maintained, will be a female position. The elected female position has been vacant since the 2019 AGM and Shane Collins has indicated that she will stand for that position as her appointed term comes to an end.
The elected male position comes about as Andrew Gaze will not be seeking re-election given broader commitments. Andrew has made a tremendous impact on Hockey with his deep commercial and sponsorship experience. Our commercial revenues have grown strongly over this time, with a number of quality commercial partnerships in place and further opportunities to chase.
Over and above the full board roles that exist, there is also an opportunity for people to be co-opted onto Board sub-committees – particularly Audit Finance & Risk; People and Culture; Commercial; and Major events. These sub-committees provide a great opportunity for people to get a taste of Hockey Governance without being formally on the board. Previous board members have progressed to the full board through these committees and found it to be a simpler process with less time needed to get up to speed with the full board role. This also provides a great opportunity for us to broaden our diversity both from a geographic, cultural and age perspective.
So as we enter 2020, the key skills the Board feels it needs over the next period are as follows:
- Commercial, Sponsorship and marketing experience
- Sophisticated Project or change management experience
- Independent Governance experience (i.e. not necessarily from within hockey) particularly in the context of financial and risk frameworks
- Connectivity with Government and other grassroots funding organisations
We also remain conscious that in addition to having a strong mix of skills, our board continues to require deep hockey/sporting DNA and connection, with a strong understanding of what drives our hockey communities.
Please think hard about people in your communities who you feel could help Hockey as a sport to keep moving forward. We are blessed with a great game and great people and an even bigger opportunity to move forward in these modern times.
Merry Christmas and have a happy and safe holiday break.
Hockey New Zealand Board