She may have been part of the Magic furniture for the last decade and be coming off a successful trans-Tasman league season, but Sheryl Dawson has been given the flick out of her chief executive job.
Dawson had been involved with the Magic since 2002 when she was invited to assist with business development, and up until now had also been CEO of Netball Bay of Plenty.
But Tim Hamilton was announced as the CEO for the newly created Netball Waikato-Bay of Plenty Zone, with his vast experience of both grassroots and professional sport impressing the zone board.
The 43-year-old, who lives in Auckland, starts in the role immediately, with the five new regional zones replacing 12 regions and going fully operational on December 1.
Hamilton was CEO of Basketball New Zealand for two and a half years before resigning earlier this year, with the commute to the Wellington headquarters becoming too much.
Coming out of the corporate world, Hamilton's early days in sports administration were with a Regional Sports Trust.
He progressed to become CEO of the Wanganui Rugby Union, then held the same job with Northland and became that region's representative on the Blues board.
Hamilton then became CEO of Netball North Harbour, working concurrently as regional manager of Netball North.
Since leaving Basketball NZ in March he was asked to help Basketball Auckland and Counties-Manukau Basketball come together to deliver the sport better.
That experience will stand Hamilton in great stead for his new position.
The new zone will support the delivery of community and high performance netball, comprising 26 centres across Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Poverty Bay.
Zone chairman John Wiltshire said there were a lot of reasons for Hamilton winning the role, but particularly his cross-section of experience with grassroots and also high performance and the pathways which link to it, were crucial.
''With the way that the whole netball community drove the zone it was quite a different sort of job description and quite a different set of circumstances for the board to look at,'' Wiltshire said.
''The zone CEO has got the responsibility to say we've got to take these little five-year-olds at Minogue Park at one end of the scale and the Caseys [Williams] and the Lauras [Langman] at the other. In terms of that it's actually a big job in terms of the pathways. We're not only talking about players, we're talking about coaches and administrators and the officials and everyone else.''
Wiltshire said Netball New Zealand had interviewed five people for the role, but he wouldn't divulge who the others were, though it's understood Dawson, Netball Waikato region manager Ben Sinnamon and former Silver Fern and NNZ high performance manager Tracey Fear were interviewed.
Hamilton said he was delighted to win the position and was really looking forward to getting started.
''Any opportunity that's a new one is a green field approach to it and being asked to lead that is an exciting challenge and opportunity,'' he said.
''I've been involved in sport a long time now, both professionally and as a volunteer and it's all about opportunities and looking how you can use your experiences in your life.
''I think this zone could be a leading zone based on its strength, both from a playing perspective and right through the top end. I think if that's where I can add, and working together with other people, the outcomes will be fantastic.''
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