window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-HR5P9HS5VG');

WEEK 1: Kereyn Smith, MNZM

We kicked off our new series with Kereyn Smith MNZM, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the New Zealand Olympic Committee

13.00 – 13.45, Thursday 9 April 2020

After many weeks of speculation and uncertainty, on 25 March the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were officially postponed by 12 months due to COVID-19. The Olympic Games will now take place from 23 July 2021 – 8 August 2021, with the Paralympics shortly after. It is the first time the Olympics has been moved since World War II. The NZOC had been vocal around the need for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Local Organising Committee to consider a postponement, releasing a survey of New Zealand’s top athletes in partnership with Paralympics New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand only the day before the final announcement, demonstrating overwhelming support. At the time, Kereyn Smith told Newshub: “It is an enormous challenge to reschedule the Olympic Games. The task is monumental but it’s great to see details coming to life and we are already looking forward to being in Tokyo in 2021.” We look forward to listening to Kereyn speak about the journey so far and what she now sees on the horizon as our athletes prepare for 2021.

Kereyn is amongst one of New Zealand’s most recognisable sports administrators, having led the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games campaigns since 2011. Kereyn was involved in the establishment of the IWG in 1994 and since then, as continued to promote gender equity. In 2015, the NZOC became the first National Olympic Committee (NOC) to win the IOC ‘Women in Sport’ World Trophy. Kereyn is an original Foundation Member of Women in Sport Aotearoa.


(please note about a 30sec delay until we speak, waiting for the audience to dial-in)

Read some of the media coverage post-interview:

Concerns women’s sport could bear brunt of financial cutbacks‘, Radio New Zealand


This week’s moderator – journalist and commentator, Rikki Swannell!

We were delighted to welcome Rikki as our moderator for Week One!

Rikki has been a sports broadcaster for 15 years, and now works in a freelance capacity as a commentator and reporter. She can largely be heard on Sky Sport, where she is a regular commentator on netball, rugby and tennis, and on the World 7s series, working for World Rugby. She started her career as a journalist at Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB and has covered everything from snooker and darts, to cricket and rowing, Olympic and Commonwealth Games and various World Cups. Since going it alone in 2016, Rikki has diversified to become an accomplished event MC, long form print and online writer, media advisor and trainer and web copy-writer. She has a keen interest in the business of sport, governance and media issues. Rikki has kindly provided her services free, to help this series.

Those interested in working with Rikki should contact her on We highly recommend her!

How to Donate!

Women in Sport Aotearoa is a not-for-profit and our funding comes from Donations, Fundraising & Gifts, Grants & Trusts and Commercial Partnerships.

If you like our virtual leadership series and would like to support our other programmes too, we’d be very grateful for your help!

You can make a donation now by clicking: Donate Now

IWG 2018-2022

Find out about our leadership work on the global stage

Insight Hub

Gain real insights to help you make a case for change


Catch-up on the latest from our partners at LockerRoom


Read about our work to influence gender equity in sport