Dr David Gerrard Appointed New Swimming NZ President
Former Commonwealth Games Champion, New Zealand team Chef de Mission and world-renowned sports administrator Dr David Gerrard (CNZM, OBE), was appointed Swimming New Zealand President at the organisations’ annual general meeting yesterday in Auckland. Gerrard won a gold medal at the 1966 Kingston Commonwealth Games in the men’s 220-yard butterfly and was a member of the bronze medal winning 4x110-yard men’s medley relay team. Speaking from Montreal where he is chairing a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) medical board meeting, Gerrard accepted the President’s position. “Swimming has been an important part of my life and it is a great honour for me to accept the privilege of being the Swimming New Zealand President and I look forward to working with the SNZ board and staff.” Gerrard aims to be an advocate for grassroots swimming in New Zealand.
“If we get our clubs and coaches strong, then the podium places and the representation at the highest level will look after themselves,” says Gerrard. After retiring from competitive swimming Gerrard set his sights on a medical career and gained a medical degree from the University of Otago in 1977. He joined the university staff in 1981 and was appointed the Associate Dean of the School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Sports Medicine in 2007. In the same year Gerrard was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In 2016, Gerrard retired and was granted the title Emeritus Professor at the University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine. Gerrard’s first sports administration posting was as team manager for the New Zealand Swimming team at the 1974 Christchurch British Commonwealth Games. The following four decades would see Gerrard become an internationally renowned sports administrator and governor. He was the New Zealand team doctor at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games, 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games and Health Team Leader for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Gerrard led New Zealand teams as Chef de Mission at the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Following the 1986 Commonwealth Games, Gerrard was appointed to the FINA Sports Medicine Committee, a posting he still holds 32 years later and is now vice chairman. In 2011 he was appointed to World Rugby’s Member, Anti-Doping Advisory Committee. In 2013 Gerrard was appointed chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee, charged with granting athletes’ dispensation to use prohibited substances for genuine medical reasons. Gerrard also served as chair of Drug Free Sport New Zealand from 2003 – 2010. Swimming New Zealand’s CEO Steve Johns is excited at the appointment of Dr Gerrard. “SNZ is extremely lucky to have the experience and expertise of Dr Gerrard. I know I echo the excitement of the SNZ board and staff in that we are thrilled to work alongside Gerrard in this next phase for swimming in Aotearoa.” Gerrard takes over the position from Lesley Huckins after three years as President. Johns extended his sincere thanks to Huckins. “Lesley has been an enthusiastic and dedicated President representing Swimming NZ both nationally and internationally.” Johns added, “as a member of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee, Lesley’s wealth of knowledge and insight relating to technical matters and FINA have been extremely beneficial to swimming in New Zealand”.
Article courtesy of Swimming NZ