Sport Southland Board shows diversity

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Sport Southland chairman Bevan Ellis.

INVERCARGILL business adviser and project manager Bevan Ellis has been appointed to chair an expanded Sport Southland Board.

Ellis, who has been a trustee of the regional sports trust since 2018, replaces Steven Kennedy, who died earlier this year.

“It was a bittersweet appointment with Steve’s passing, but I’m really looking forward to taking on the challenge. They are big shoes to fill.

“Steve was really well connected and knew Sport Southland so well, he was a great guy to serve under,” Ellis said.

Along with Ellis and Sport Southland board members Chris Peddie, Alex Crackett, Aaron McKenzie and Nigel Finnerty, a recent recruitment process has seen the addition of four new trustees.

Newfield Park Primary School principal Sonya Carey and Southland District Council services and assets group manager Matt Russell have been appointed for three years.

Kindergartens South general manager Nikki McRobie and Invercargill lawyer and MSK Ultrasound Southland general manager Katie McRae have been co-opted on to the board for the next two years.

Having greater representation from across the community would add depth to decision making as Sport Southland developed strategies in response to a changing landscape. This included a focus across the full spectrum from play and active recreation to traditional sport, Ellis said.

“We wanted to expand the board because having some more diversity of thought… around the table will be really helpful,” he said.

Covid-19 had serious repercussions for sport, but also showed people were thinking differently about being active, so the future was both challenging and exciting, Ellis said.

“Sport Southland is a key player in the community. We’ve got a lot of thinking and rethinking to do as we come through the Covid-19 crisis and into a new normal and what that’s going to look like.”

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