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Panel Discussion



Getting match fit – sports governance

The future of sporting organisations.

Tonia Cawood, Mark McCabe, Blair Foote
12:00pm — 2:00pm, 16 September 2020
FMG Stadium Waikato
Gate 5, 128 Seddon Road, Hamilton
Price members
$50.00 incl GST
Price non-members
$65.00 incl GST


All aspects of our commercial and social lives have been impacted by COVID-19. Even though we are ahead of the world and getting back to normal our beloved sports sector has faced challenges and continues to strategise in an uncertain funding future.  

We have an expert panel to share their experience and thoughts on the future of sporting organisations.

Tonia Cawood

Tonia is a chartered independent director, chair and strategic advisor specialising in transformational projects and leadership.  

She is a business leader governing or fuelling progress with expert insight on people, purpose and high performance leadership - marketing, brand and comms, sports management, strategy, facilitation and project leadership. 

Tonia and co-founder Sacha Coburn in The Company You Keep, focus on delivering inside-out leadership development through workshops, bespoke for business programmes and 1:1 coaching to advance high performance leadership with courage and heart.

She is chair of the Chiefs Rugby Club and recently retired after 8 years Rowing New Zealand Board. 

Mark McCabe

Mark enjoys little more in his professional life than seeing his clients reach their goals. In his role as managing partner, Waikato, Mark brings a depth of knowledge and breadth of experience to help businesses see more value and grow.

Having been a PwC Partner since 2008 and an accountant for more than 20 years, Mark is best placed to support his clients in specialist areas like strategy, structuring, governance, growth, innovation, cloud, tax, modelling and financial and management reporting. He also draws on the wider PwC network in Waikato, nationally and internationally to provide crucial advice, insight and support when it’s needed.

Mark brings years of experience working closely with a range of clients, from Waikato’s private individuals and  technology start-ups, right through to high growth businesses and large corporates. He’s worked across all kinds of industries – from charities and the public sector to property and construction, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), manufacturing, investment, digital, agribusiness, professional services, and childcare.

Mark’s personal life is almost just as busy as his professional one. He enjoys the gym, getting out on his mountain bike and the occasional round of golf, as well as combing his passions for sport and the community support as the chair of Sport Waikato. However, you’re most likely to find him spending time with his wife Sian and three children, supporting the kids from the side-lines or spending some quality time with them by either passing, kicking or hitting a ball around.

Blair Foote

Blair has been the chief executive officer for the Waikato Rugby Union for the past five and a bit years. As CEO he is responsible for leading the WRU in the pursuit of strategic objectives in both the participation and development, and high performance spaces, and for providing a sustainable business model that supports these two objectives. Blair develops and leverages relationships across a wide range of stakeholders, starting with the board and staff at WRU and also NZ Rugby, the Chiefs, other provincial unions, the Waikato rugby clubs, the commercial and funding partners, other Waikato sports organisations and Sport Waikato.

I am passionate about the value that being involved in rugby (and indeed all sports) provides to our communities, and I am keen to ensure rugby is agile enough to continue to provide that value as the needs of our customers change.

Additional information


We have been monitoring government updates regarding COVID-19 and are keeping up to date with Ministry of Health guidance with regard to events and public gatherings.

For the latest updates on face to face courses and our safety planning see our response to COVID-19 page

Branch event cancellation policy

Regrettably, registration fees cannot be refunded when cancellations are received within two working days prior to any branch event.

See our standard terms and conditions for more information.


Megan beveridge
Waikato Branch Manager

+64 21 358 772

Our sponsors

The Waikato branch acknowledges the generous support of

IT Partners
Tompkins Wake
The University of Waikato

Book this event

  • Hamilton

    16 Sep 2020
    Members — $50.00
    Non-members — $65.00