News & Updates

18 November 2021 • General

Stephen Brown announced as Athletics NZ Convenor of Selectors

Photo: Stephen Brown

Athletics enthusiast and former Managing Director of the Auckland Marathon Stephen Brown has been appointed as Athletics New Zealand’s Black Singlet Convenor.

Stephen started in the role earlier this week and will fulfil the position through to the end of 2024.

Raised in the Hawkes Bay, Stephen was a passionate schoolboy sprinter/long jumper before later focusing on cricket. He played professionally for five years in the Netherlands before returning home to play first-class cricket for the Auckland Aces for the best part of a decade, captaining both the Aces for a season and the North Harbour cricket team throughout its tenure as a minor association. Also serving as a coach and selector during his time in Holland, he was later involved in the operational set up, as General Manager of Business Development and IT, of the Millennium Institute of Sport and Health (now AUT Millennium) on the North Shore.

As a co-owner, he also served as the Managing Director of the Auckland Marathon for 12 years and more recently has worked as manager to double Olympic bronze medal-winning shot put ace Tom Walsh as well as Olympic kayak champion Caitlin Regal and Olympic boxing bronze medallist David Nyika.

On being appointed Black Singlet Convenor he added: “I’m really excited by the role. The opportunity to apply for the position came up out of the blue but given my background in athletics it interested me immediately. I think the task and the skills required fit my skillset and I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into the role.”

As Black Singlet Convenor Stephen will head up and lead the selection and nomination process for all pinnacle Black Singlet events and ensure all the relevant information is collated and correct processes are followed. He will work with other selectors to select or nominate athletes (in the case of NZOC) for key events.

Next year Stephen will have a busy year working on selection and nomination for the World Indoor Championships, World Championships, World U20 Championships, Commonwealth Games and World Para Athletics Championships. 

“When I compare athletics selection with cricket, for example, athletics is far more objective, primarily based around time and distance,” he explains. “In many respects some of the athletes largely select themselves and the selection policy has evolved over time to be a lot more objective, however it is important the correct nomination and selection policies and procedures are closely followed. But there are also some subjective elements, especially around athletes who are perhaps on the cusp of selection. A big focus for me will be making sure these athletes are communicated with early in the process to ensure they are fully aware of expectations.”

Yet whatever challenges the role will throw up, Stephen has a clear desire for how he would like to see the sport develop.

“I’d love to see the New Zealand athletes continue to be successful at those pinnacle events and for that success to continue to grow,” he adds.