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Captains Lunch 2021 featuring Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

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Captains Lunch 2021 to celebrate female leadership in sport and business, featuring Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Deputy Prime Minister Hon Grant Robertson and CEO of Sport New Zealand, Raelene Castle ONZM

Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Sport & Recreation, Hon Grant Robertson and Chief Executive of Sport New Zealand, Raelene Castle ONZM (Ngāpuhi) will headline the annual Captains Lunch at Eden Park on Friday 7 May 2021, being staged in partnership between Women in Sport Aotearoa and Trans – Tasman Business Circle.

This year marks a special milestone – exactly ‘1 year to go’ until Aotearoa New Zealand will host the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport. The event is the largest worldwide gathering of experts in gender equality in sport and physical activity, with 1,200 participants expected. For the first time in its history, it will be staged as a hybrid with a physical event in Auckland and a live event online.

As partners, Women in Sport Aotearoa (WISPA) and Trans-Tasman Business Circle (TTBC) firmly believe that the Captains Lunch is an important dialogue, celebrating women with the focus on bringing sport and business communities together in one room to meet and connect in person. With COVID-19 playing havoc with sport and disproportionately affecting women’s sport globally, it’s also a place where up to 400 leaders will celebrate Aotearoa New Zealand’s ongoing leadership during the pandemic and its role as host to three upcoming women’s World Cups in cricket, rugby and football.

Uniquely, tables will be hosted by an array of Captains from across sport and recreation in Aotearoa New Zealand, including a mix of female athletes, coaches, leaders and male allies for positive change, including Beatrice Faumuina ONZM, Kereyn Smith MNZM, Fiona Allan ONZM, David White, Jennie Wyllie, Dr. Johanna Wood, Megan Gifford (nee Signal), Michelle Hooper, Andrea Nelson and Nick Sautner. In its third year, it is one of the biggest on the sport business calendar, and seats are limited.

Rachel Froggatt, CEO of Women in Sport Aotearoa, said: “We are thrilled to have the Prime Minister join us for the Captains Lunch in 2021. She is an outstanding leadership role model for women and girls across Aotearoa New Zealand. She has demonstrated resilience and courage throughout the pandemic, and to have her feature as our keynote speaker is something we can all look forward to.

“The presence of the Prime Minister is sure to help us spread the invitation to join us far and wide around the world, as we mark exactly ‘1 year to go’ to the IWG World Conference on Women & Sport.”

Taking place every four years, the IWG World Conference on Women & Sport is being designed and staged by Women in Sport Aotearoa, currently global delivery agent for the International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport Secretariat and Conference 2018 – 2022. Established in 1994, IWG is the world’s largest network dedicated to empowering women and girls and advancing sport. The strategic and administrative function moves quadrennially. It came to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2018.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Sport & Recreation, the Hon Grant Robertson, will also address the leaders gathered. The Minister is an avid sports fan and champion for ‘women in sport’. At the beginning of his tenure, he immediately stated that positive change for women and girls in sport and active recreation in Aotearoa New Zealand was his number one priority. Since then he has driven and supported change across the sector, launching the ‘Women & Girls in Sport & Active Recreation’ strategy, which includes a $10 million investment over 3 years, and holding the system accountable. CEO of Sport New Zealand, Raelene Castle ONZM, will also make remarks during the event.

“Captains” already announced include:

  • Raelene Castle ONZM, Chief Executive, Sport New Zealand
  • Beatrice Faumuina ONZM OLY, Board Member, Sport New Zealand
  • Duane Kale, Vice President, International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  • Sarah Walker, BMX Olympic silver medallist and IOC Member for New Zealand
  • Emma Gilmour, International Rally Driver
  • Megan Compain, Former WNBA Basketballer
  • Megan Gifford (nee Signal), Olympic Weightlifter
  • Sarah Gibbs, Former Football Fern and Board Member, NZ Football
  • Kereyn Smith MNZM, Chief Executive & Secretary General, New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC)
  • Fiona Allan ONZM, Chief Executive, Paralympics NZ
  • Andrea Nelson, Chief Executive, 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup
  • Michelle Hooper, Tournament Director, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2022
  • Jane Patterson MNZM, Chief Operating Officer, 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
  • Claire Beard, Chief Executive, Triathlon New Zealand
  • David White, Chief Executive, New Zealand Cricket (NZC)
  • Lara Collins, Chief Executive, Waka Ama NZ
  • Jennie Wyllie, Chief Executive, Netball New Zealand
  • Johanna Wood, President, New Zealand Football (NZF)
  • Nick Sautner, Chief Executive, Eden Park
  • Simon Kent, Coach, Olympic Weightlifting NZ
  • Jody Cameron, Assistant Coach, Tall Ferns
  • Shelley McMeeken, Chief Executive, Halberg Foundation
  • Anthony Crummy, Chief Executive, Hockey New Zealand
  • Jennah Wootten, General Manager Partnerships & Communication, Sport NZ and incoming Chief Executive, Aktive – Auckland Sport & Recreation
  • Lynette Grace, Deputy Chef de Mission for NZ Paralympic Team at Tokyo 2020

Click here to find out more about Captains Lunch 2021.

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