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Long-time Baseball CEO Ryan Flynn steps down

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Long-time Baseball New Zealand chief executive Ryan Flynn has today announced he is stepping down from the position effective this week.

Flynn has been at the helm of the organisation since 2009 and has led the sport through a huge period of growth, culminating in the emergence of the Auckland Tuatara - the country’s first professional baseball franchise.

His hard work, relentless energy and passion for the game has helped make things that once seemed impossible a reality. There are now clubs all around New Zealand, playing numbers have skyrocketed and New Zealand has a significant presence internationally a decade on from his appointment.

The 48-year-old was originally brought out in 2009 and said he didn’t plan to be in the role for as long as he has; however, he was keen to see his hard work produce fruit, including the creation of the Auckland Tuatara ABL franchise, an initiative and goal he lobbied and worked on since his arrival.

In just under 10 years, the sport went from an unknown entity on the global stage to being ranked as high as 25th in the world a few years back, and national and all star teams participated in numerous world class events. Flynn brought out Major League stars like Curtis Granderson and Paul Goldschmidt to work with Kiwi kids while he assembled a who’s who line-up of coaches for national teams.

Flynn will take some much-earned time out for a period before starting work on a project away from sport, while also spending more time at home with his wife Jenny and two teenage children.

"Growing this program has consumed all of my energy and attention over the years and I am very proud of what our small team has achieved during this time," Flynn said. "I owe my family a great deal for their sacrifices in this time, especially my wife. We started with no staff, no money and our small range of baseball equipment all stored in my little garage in east Auckland in early 2010.

"I’ve made some lifelong friends and enjoyed so many incredible experiences through building our great game.

"The sport is in great health and I look forward to seeing it progress further in the coming years and will always be around to assist and advise if it’s requested.

"And I’ll look back fondly of my time here and wish the sport and everyone in it all the best for the future."

Baseball New Zealand chairman Vaughan Wyber praised Flynn’s incredible dedication and passion.

"The sport of baseball owes Ryan a huge thank you for the massive contribution he has made during his time here," Wyber said.

"Ryan has poured his heart and soul into the job and that has paid massive dividends as he reached incredible levels of success while operating with very limited resources.

"It is a testament to his hard work that the sport has been able to grow so quickly in recent years."

Wyber also acknowledged that Flynn’s vision made the Auckland Tuatara a reality.

"Without Ryan the Auckland Tuatara simply wouldn’t exist. He was relentless in pursuit of getting a professional franchise set up in New Zealand and will be forever remembered for making this dream a reality," Wyber added.

"We wish Ryan and his family all the best in the next stage of their lives."

Former SKY TV boss and Baseball New Zealand Life Member John Fellet will take over the reins of the sport in a temporary capacity until a permanent replacement can be appointed.

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