Welcome from CEO Martin Dowson23 Oct 2020
Welcome squash community
I have been so incredibly excited to begin my new role and it seems like it took ‘forever’ for 19th October to arrive, especially as it was about 4 months ago that I first applied for the CE role. Now I can be 100% squash. I did have to serve out the majority of my notice period with High Performance Sport New Zealand, which was important to me as I have been in a similar type role for up to 15 years and I needed to make sure I handed over that role to my best ability.
Being involved in High performance Sport has been incredible, I am extremely proud of the success New Zealand has had and have had the privilege to have been part of the NZ team at two Olympics and two Commonwealth Games. Observing the inspiration that our New Zealand athletes provide to all New Zealanders is amazing to observe close hand.
It is time for me to seek a new challenge and I have always looked to mix my passion with my profession. This role was an instant attraction! It is a dream role for me. I have played squash since I was a University student at Otago. I fell in love with playing instantaneously, I remember as a student travelling around Otago playing interclub. I was fortunate to make our team playing in the E grade Superchamps in Tauranga. You can imagine the fun and festive time we had as 7 likeminded university students during one of those great squash events.
Ever since squash has continued to provide me with amazing experiences that allowed me to grow as a person and continually have fun. I have continued to play interclub for 30 years and remain at my peak which is an average B grader. I have more recently supported my club Browns Bay as a committee member and over the last two weeks as their Vice President as we seek to be one of the most vibrant clubs around. I believe I understand the challenges that many clubs face financially and how to grow or simply maintain memberships. I also am aware of how much a squash club can be part of the local community, it is a game that so simply connects all types of New Zealanders socially together that can lead to so much health and happiness.
I have finally started my new role as CEO, my first few months I want to get out and listen and make sure I fully understand the different challenges that each district faces. I want to identify all the amazing people who want to come together and support the game to grow. I must also learn the business, explore opportunities and make sure we protect our strengths. If you do see me on my travels and a connection is not direct, please introduce yourself.
One clear goal I have is to make sure my communication to all parts of the sport is strong, so I will be in touch soon. Thanks for all the support and best wishes to date.
Squash NZ CEO