Tri NZ’s new Chief Executive reflects on his first five months at the helm and looks ahead to a busy ‘Kiwi Summer of Tri’ with relish.
By Pete De Wet/Triathlon.kiwi
Greetings Tribe Nation,
It’s been five months since I first walked through the doors at the Tri NZ office in Auckland and, as expected, it’s been a rollercoaster as I immerse myself into the role and get to grips with the many opportunities that exist in our sport.
The first couple of weeks were a blur as I battled the after-effects of Covid and the weekly commute back to Hawke’s Bay, where my wife, Taryn was busy preparing our family for the big move from small town New Zealand to the big smoke that is Auckland. I underestimated the scale of the move and am eternally grateful to Taryn for taking it on and making the transition (see what I did there) as easy as possible for our three girls, Chyler, Caitlyn and Cayleigh. We are now firmly ensconced on the North Shore and Taryn and the girls are settling well into their new lives as Aucklanders.
My work family has also had some changes in the last few months. Hamish Carter, who served the sport so well as an athlete and then as GM of Performance, decided to step away from triathlon. I am grateful to Hamish for his support in the early days and in helping me get my feet under the desk. Hamish loves triathlon and his work over the last four years has meant that our HP environment is in really good shape.
We also recently farewelled Sophie Luther, our Comms and Marketing Manager. Sophie was a familiar face at most of our Suzuki National Series Events and did a great job for us during the Covid-19 period raising the profile of our sport and athletes. We’ve also welcomed some new faces to the team: Peter Kadar has joined the team as HP Operations Manager, Kent Gray is Comms and Marketing Manager, and Travis White will join the team at the beginning of November as GM of Performance. As the new team settles into their roles, we turn our attention to an exciting ‘Kiwi Summer of Tri’.
As I reflect on the last five months, there are a number of highlights worth mentioning:
• The renewal of Suzuki as a long-standing and committed partner of Tri NZ, for a further two years
• The return of the World Cup to New Plymouth in 2023
• A successful AGM hosted with two new independent board members elected to serve for the next three years
• Virtual Sports hubs in Canterbury, Tauranga and Manawatu are up and running, giving youngsters the opportunity to race against each other and stay active and healthy at the same time.
• And, as we’ve announced today, we are pleased to have ASICS NZ back on board for the next two years as the Official Footwear Partner of Tri NZ
Looking ahead, I am absolutely energised by the incredible opportunities that lie ahead for our sport but also know there is lots of work to do.
In the performance space, we are two years out from the Olympic Games in Paris and our campaigns will start to ramp up as we prepare to qualify to represent New Zealand at the XXXIII Olympiad.
We are also speeding into our busy summer season with some great elite racing alongside our Suzuki National Series. The Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon series is back, giving Kiwi youngsters the chance to experience our sport, some for the first time. We are also leading the charge in Virtual Sports and will continue to develop this exciting area to get more young people active and excited about a life in tri. Thankfully our clubs and event providers can also look forward to a busy summer of activity without the restrictions that have plagued the sport over the last two years.
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that I have met so far and for the warm welcome to triathlon. It has been a very enjoyable five months but we’re only just getting started.
Enjoy the long weekend!
Pete De Wet
CEO, Triathlon New Zealand