Kia Kaha, Kia Ora | Be Active, Be Well

New Chief Executive announced for Sport Hawke’s Bay - local, Ryan Hambleton to take the reins

Ryan Hambleton (left) and Graeme Taylor (right) announce new leadership for Sport Hawke's Bay

Sport Hawke’s Bay today announced the promotion of Ryan Hambleton to Chief Executive.


Sport Hawke’s Bay Chair, Graeme Taylor said the Board has promoted a leader from within the organisation as a replacement for Mark Aspden, who steps down after 8 years at the end of this month.


“Ryan provides a seamless transition in stepping up to the role; he is very well respected by his colleagues, with our regional partners as well as by our lead funding partner Sport New Zealand, who had already identified him as a future leader”.


“We had overwhelming interest in the role, but Ryan impressed the Board with the direction he wants to take the organisation, building the influence of Sport Hawke’s Bay within the sport, recreation and wellbeing sectors and ultimately getting more people active”.


Hawke’s Bay born and bred Ryan Hambleton has been with the regional sports trust since 2015, firstly as its Commercial Manager and more recently General Manager, responsible for managing key relationships with Sport New Zealand, Councils and funding partners as well as managing the play, active recreation and sport team.


Ryan said the promotion is particularly special being ‘home grown’ and is a role he aspired to when his career in sport administration started with Sport Wellington in 2013. Ryan has recently had Chief Executive experience, as interim CE for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park in 2023.


“This is a role I have been working towards for over a decade, as I’ve always wanted to make a positive impact in a leadership role in Hawke’s Bay and am honoured to be leading a key regional organisation that supports our communities to get more active, more often”.


“It has also been great to work alongside Mark who has been a great leader and empowered leadership from within the organisation. I am thrilled that the Board have appointed me to the role, and it provides consistency going forward both for staff but also with our partners in the community”.


“I’m also very keen to take the organisation to a new level to ensure Sport Hawke’s Bay is regarded as an influential partner with Councils, health organisations and the play active recreation and sport sector”.


“There are many challenges we face as a region, especially since the Cyclone. We need to make sure that all people of all ages, ethnicities and communities in Hawke’s Bay have opportunities to participate in play, active recreation and sport”.


“Sport, play, active recreation and wellbeing have immense positive social well-being outcomes and it is important that Sport Hawke’s Bay has a greater role regionally with the likes of Councils, sport organisations, health providers and post settlement groups.”


Sport Hawke’s Bay is primarily funded through partnerships with Territorial Authorities, community funders, sponsors, Sport New Zealand and Te Whatu Ora – Te Matau a Māui Hawke’s Bay.


About Sport Hawke’s Bay

Sport Hawke’s Bay exists to enhance the health and wellbeing of Hawke’s Bay by influencing, enabling and supporting our communities to be more physically active.


To achieve this we focus on:

  • Young People - tamariki (ages 5-11) and rangatahi (ages 12-18)
  • Less Active Communities - geographic or social communities where there are barriers to engaging in physical activity


Established in 1989, Sport Hawke’s Bay is one of a network of regional sports trusts throughout the country. We are seen as being an independent voice of play, active recreation and sport while also using physical activity to encourage people to live a more active and healthier lifestyle.


The Sport Hawke’s Bay head office is based at Pettigrew.Green Arena in Taradale, with offices also in Waipukurau and Wairoa.


Sport Hawke’s Bay is governed by a Board of Trustees chaired by Graeme Taylor and managed by a Chief Executive, Ryan Hambleton.


The programmes and services managed by Sport Hawke’s Bay are available for all communities in the Hawke’s Bay region.


As well as being funded by Sport New Zealand to deliver programmes in the region, the regional sports trust also administers Sport New Zealand’s Tū Manawa Fund, which has provided over $2,380,000 to support tamariki and rangatahi to get active, focussing particularly on those who are less active, the disabled community and highly deprived communities.



Graeme Taylor


Sport Hawke’s Bay



Ryan Hambleton

Chief Executive

Sport Hawke’s Bay

M: 022 365 4060



Article added: Friday 12 January 2024



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