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Special Olympics New Zealand Names Ian Mckelvie As Board Chair

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Special Olympics New Zealand Names Ian Mckelvie As Board Chair

Special Olympics New Zealand announced today Ian McKelvie as its Board Chair. McKelvie will bring his wealth of business, management, governance and leadership experience to the role. In this position McKelvie will support the delivery of quality sporting programmes for over 5400 current athletes and 3000 volunteers in New Zealand.

A farmer and businessman, Ian McKelvie is the Mayor for the Manawatu District, a position he has held since 2002. He is also the current Chair of Farmers Mutual Finance and the former Chair of Te Kawau Rugby Football Club and the Clydesdale School Committee. In addition, McKelvie has been President of the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand, the Rangitikei Racing Club and the Manawatu A&P Association.

"Ian brings a combination of business nous, strong government relationships and social empathy to the role," says John Holdsworth, head of the selection committee and Chairman of Datacom. "Nonprofit organisations operate in an extremely competitive environment and must be led in a business-like manner. The selection committee was very pleased Ian agreed to this appointment."

McKelvie and his wife Sue have three grown children. They run a 2500 hectare coastal Manawatu farm that includes a large area of trees, nearly 30,000 stock units and a polo breeding and selling operation. He has an interest in long-term sustainability of communities, agriculture and the country and works towards promoting economic development in a manner that remains in tune with our environment.

"We are extremely fortunate to have a person with Ian's experience, passion and connections agree to Chair our Board," says Special Olympics Chief Executive Kathy Gibson. "Our organisation has a very ambitious strategic plan than spans the next five years and I speak for the entire team when I say that I am looking forward to working with Ian to expand our investment partnerships to enable more quality sports, training and leadership opportunities for our athletes and volunteers."

In his position of District Mayor, McKelvie supported Special Olympics New Zealand at its 2009 National Summer Games, with Feilding hosting the equestrian events.

The McKelvies attended many of the Summer Games events and prior to the Games, McKelvie participated in a Tenpin Bowling Duel with Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor against Palmerston North Special Olympics athletes Hamish Taverner and Ian Johnson (the Special Olympics athletes narrowly defeated the Mayors).

McKelvie brings to the Chair's role a first-person understanding of physical fitness, sport and regular training. Interested in rugby, cycling and equestrian sports, he comes from a family of polo players and represented New Zealand internationally. His father and sons have played for New Zealand, as well.

McKelvie, who has a family member with an intellectual disability, is a strong supporter of acceptance and inclusion and is a firm believer in the empowerment of sport.

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