Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary


The Board of High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ) has appointed Michael Scott as its next Chief Executive. He replaces Alex Baumann, who departed HPSNZ last week after nearly six years at the helm.

Currently Chief Executive of Rowing Australia, Michael has 20 years’ experience in high performance at both a system and sport level. Prior to joining Rowing Australia in May 2015 he was Performance Director at Swimming Australia from 2013 to 2015.

His former roles also include National Performance Director at British Swimming, Chief Executive of the 2007 World Swimming Championships Corporation and Director of both the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS). His experiences as system leader at the AIS and NSWIS from 1997 to 2005 were during a period when Australian sport performed to its best ever level on the world stage.

“Michael brings truly world-class credentials and we are confident he will continue the evolution and success of our high performance system,” says HPSNZ Chair Sir Paul Collins.

“He understands what it takes to be the system leader, but also brings the critical perspective of our partners, national sport organisations, as well as the high performance systems of Great Britainand Australia.”

Michael Scott says he is honoured and delighted to be appointed to this prestigious role in world high performance sport.

“I look forward to working with national sporting bodies, coaches, athletes and the team at HPSNZ to collectively build upon New Zealand’s recent success on the world stage.”

“I am committed to working in partnership with sports to build a world-leading and sustainable high performance system in New Zealand,” he says.

Michael Scott will take up his role in January. In the interim, HPSNZ General Manager of Capacity and Expertise, Pete Pfitzinger, will serve as Acting Chief Executive.

Sir Paul Collins also paid tribute to Alex Baumann for his leadership of HPSNZ since 2012.

“Under Alex’s leadership our high performance system has gone from strength to strength. Rio was New Zealand’s best ever Olympic Games, with 18 medals spread across nine sports, and also our second consecutive Paralympics where we topped the per capita medal table.”

“Alex developed a world-class team and forged strong and critical partnerships with national sport organisations and bodies such as the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Paralympics New Zealand, without which our high performance system could not function at its peak.”

HPSNZ was established in 2011 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of crown entity Sport NZ, with a mandate to lead the high performance system. It brings together investment, strategy and performance support to provide a one-stop-shop that enables athletes and coaches to focus on performance.

*Article courtsey of Philip Clark of High Performance Sport NZ*