Swimming New Zealand Names New CEO

Swimming New Zealand has announced it has found its new Chief Executive Officer, having been without one since Christian Renford stepped down post-Rio. In a series of changes which not only include Renford’s resignation, but also the hiring of American Jerry Olszewski as Head Coach, the organization has appointed Steve Johns as  CEO.

Johns currently heads up Tennis New Zealand as its CEO, a role he has had since 2010. Prior to that, he had spent 6 years as CEO of Surf Life Saving Northern Region.

Bruce Cotterill, Swimming NZ Chairman, says of Johns’ appointment, “During the last four years, the revamped Board and the Management team at Swimming New Zealand have worked tirelessly to turn our sport around to the stage that right now we are in a stronger position that we have been for more than a decade.

“In high performance we have more young swimmers ranked in the top 50 in the world than any time in the previous three Olympiads. Our membership continues to grow and we continue to talk to more and more members.

“We are very proud that our Kiwi Swim Safe programme has trained and supported more than 5000 school teachers who in turn have taught learn to swim and swim to survive lessons to more than 270,000 young Kiwi children in the last six years.

“Steve is a passionate life-long participant in our sport, and he has an excellent pedigree in the business of sports management. He comes into this role at an important time to lead our wonderful team as we look to consolidate and really push our sport forward at all levels.”


From Johns’ perspective, the newly-named CEO states, “Swimming is such an integral sport in New Zealand so the opportunity to help drive Swimming New Zealand to achieve its strategic goals is a great challenge that I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to in the New Year.

As a former Taranaki swimming rep and record holder and NZ water polo representative, the opportunity to combine my sports management and leadership skills into sports that have played such a big part of my life was an opportunity that I couldn’t resist.”


Johns will officially move into role in February 2017.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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