To all clubs and members,
We would like to inform you that Dr Denis Mowbray has stepped aside as Chair of the Board of Gymnastics New Zealand (Gymnastics NZ) although he remains on the board. Fellow board member Quinton Hall will transition into the Chair position.
Denis was appointed to the board in 2010 and signalled his intention to retire as Chair of Gymnastics NZ at the 2020 AGM, although the planned transition was delayed until 2021 because of Covid-19 disruptions and the Independent Review.
During his time as Chair, Denis has presided over an unprecedented period of growth across the sport, membership and participation rates have doubled. With particularly pleasing aspects being the focus on women and girls in sport, and the large growth in the recreational programmes. All of which Denis attributes to the tireless efforts of clubs and volunteers in providing opportunities for this growth, supported by the Gymnastics NZ staff.
“It’s been a real privilege to support such a dedicated and hard-working community. I have been fortunate to have had a very high calibre board of directors, who are deeply committed, combined with a fantastically dedicated team at Gymnastics NZ, led by Tony, our CEO. Although the gymnastics community has faced challenging times recently, there have been some incredible highs, such as the founding of the Oceania Gymnastics Union, implementation of our Project 2020 and its alignment with Sport NZ’s Balance is Better, our participation at the first Oceania Union Continental Championships, and the recent bronze medal win by Dylan Schmidt at the Olympics,” said Denis.
Denis played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Oceania Gymnastics Union, which underpinned the growth and development of gymnastics in Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, Guam, and American Samoa. While also providing another pathway for our athletes to attend the Olympics.
He was also involved in securing the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships, which were due to be held in New Zealand for the first time in 20 years until Covid got in the way.
A key focus for Denis has been the establishment of the Gymnastics NZ Steering Committee, which will lead the work arising from the Independent Review. At the request of the board, Denis has agreed to continue to act for the board in seeing the implementation of the Steering Committee through to its completion. “This is a critically important project for the future of gymnastics,” Denis said.
Quinton is the principal of EQMade, a design and management consultancy, having previously been Chief Executive of Ngāi Tahu Tourism and is an experienced director currently on the Board of Nelson Airport Limited. He brings a passion for people, culture, health and safety, design, and technology. He has extensive leadership experience in commercial, private, and listed environments, including complex stakeholder and governance models. He is also a founding member of the Te Wero Gymnastics club in Christchurch. He was elected to the board in May 2019.
“I want to acknowledge Denis’ tremendous contribution as Chair and the significant experience and expertise that sits around the Board table at Gymnastics NZ. We are grateful that Denis will continue to be New Zealand’s representative for the Oceania Gymnastics Union and his ongoing work with the Independent Review process, and we are very appreciative that he will retain these key portfolios,” said Quinton.
“Alongside my fellow board members and the gymnastics community, I am looking forward to working through the challenges that are before us, seizing the opportunities they present while also focusing on growing great New Zealanders through gymnastics,” he added.
This role change was made effective at the Board meeting on Thursday 19 August 2021.