BOARD AND STAFF
Achilles international New Zealand is run by a dedicated volunteer board, with one national staff member who together support the chapters and members throughout New Zealand.
Chairperson, Allan Smith has spent the past 16 years establishing and growing a successful business in the health and disability sector. Called ‘accessable’ the company manages government contracts to provide equipment, housing alterations and vehicle modifications for people with a disability. His company’s motto is “empowering people to make a difference” and this is a sentiment Allan brings with him to the board of Achilles New Zealand.
As a board member of several community and sporting organisations, Allan enjoys working towards their success and actively participating to assist in their future growth and development. In his spare time Allan loves to travel and visit new places and also enjoys fishing and relaxing with family.”
National Manager, John Bowden is the only paid staff member for Achilles New Zealand, and works alongside the board and chapter leaders to grow and develop Achilles New Zealand. John has a long and impressive history in both running and the disability sector. As an athlete John competed for New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games, and has been an Athletics New Zealand selector and coach. He started his career as a teacher, but since then has helped to found a major youth disability charity and worked with Paralympics New Zealand. His most recent role was as General Manager of Northern Territory Athletics. John has two teenage daughters and is an active coach and volunteer within Athletics.
Board Member, Jo Walker is the immediate past chairperson of Achilles New Zealand.
"As a day job I am a registered financial adviser and I hold a BHSc and MBA with honors. My husband and I also own two BurgerFuel franchises so have an extended family of 40 plus teenage and young adult children.
At home I have two beautiful kids, Oscar aged 7 and Theia 4. Our oldest girl Mia who passed away 3 years ago was my main driver to get involved with Achilles. She was faced with many challenges in her short life and seeing what Achilles could do for others facing similar challenges made the decision to give back an easy one. I really believe Achilles has the ability to be a household name, synonymous with a can do, no limits attitude. An attitude all our children are born with but society seems to either grind out of us or take a little for granted. I want the same opportunities to be active for our physically and mentally challenged individuals as it is for those more able bodied."
Board Member, Rosa Carter
"I have been involved with Achilles International New Zealand since 2011 both as a guide and as co-coordinator of major fundraising initiatives for the organisation, followed by joining the board of Achilles in May 2016. Through completion of a number of events with Achilles athletes (including the New York Marathon, Taupo Marathon, Oxfam Trailwalker and Challenge Wanaka triathlon), I have been inspired, challenged and humbled by my interaction with all those athletes I have met and guided. These experiences have had a fundamental impact on my perspective of many aspects of life.
Professionally, I bring to the board experience as co-owner and director of a manufacturing and export business, PURE Sports Nutrition, prior to which I held senior management positions in media, marketing and business development roles. I am a member of the Institute of Directors and hold both finance and law degrees.
Based in Christchurch, in my personal time I enjoy time with my extended family, keeping active in the outdoors and cooking!"
Board Member, Sarah Murray
'I am part of the Corporate Banking leadership team at ASB. My current role involves implementing sales practice within the division, coaching, and ensuring the team’s service metrics are best in class. I am a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Directors.
I am currently chairperson of Brain Injury Auckland and on the National Council for Brain Injury New Zealand. I am passionate about helping people with disabilities – I joined the Board of Achilles New Zealand in June 15 and have enjoyed being part of a growing organisation.
In my spare time, I am a running enthusiast, having recently completed the Rome Marathon.'
Board Member, Ryan Hambleton
I am the current Commercial Manager at Sport Hawke’s Bay, managing marketing and communications for the regional sports trust, along with managing council, commercial and funding partnerships. Previous roles have seen me in similar positions at Sport Wellington and Wellington Zoo.
I am currently a board member for Greenmeadows School and Basketball Hawke’s Bay. I enjoy working alongside senior management of an organisation to assist it to grow and develop while supporting the staff to achieve set objectives.
In my personal life I enjoy spending time with my wife and three young daughters, exploring all that Hawke’s Bay has to offer.
Board Member, Mike Lloyd
have been a member of Achilles for 11 years. During this time I have participated in regular fortnightly Sunday training sessions, many Achilles supported events and nine New York City Marathon trips. As someone living with Blindness and Parkinson’s, I am proud to be an Achilles athlete and board member.
I work as a technology consultant for the Blind Foundation and am also on the board of Blind Sport New Zealand. I am very active within the blindness community in regards to sport and recreation as the producer of “The Blind Sport Podcast” and a weekly national sports bulletin.
I joined the board of Achilles in 2011 and very much believe that Achilles NZ has the ability to help many Kiwi’s with disabilities to better their lives through exercise, goal setting and peer support.
Board Member, Ian Winson
I am a 53 year old civil engineer who has been involved in sport and exercise since the age of 5. Part of being involved in sport is also taking the time to be involved in the administration of sport so there is a balanced outlook and approach. At this time of my life, my style of contribution is mostly unique as I have experienced the able body world and am now a part of the disabled community.
Prior to 2011, when I survived a multi traumatic event which left me with multiple injuries, I participated in numerous sporting events which, amongst others, included endurance and sprint events. I have competed in solo sports as well as team sports and have the ability to be a team player but also have the discipline to work alone to achieve the goals I set.
Post 2011, I have used sport as my rehabilitation tool to improve my daily life and my standing in the community. Being fit, strong and active enhances my life despite the physical impairments that I have.
Board Member, Matt McNeil
Originally from the UK, Matt has enjoyed a successful career in media and advertising in London and Wellington.
He fell in love with New Zealand when initially moving to Wellington in 2001 to work at Clemenger BBDO. After a brief spell back in London, Matt returned permanently to Wellington as Managing Partner of OMD, NZ’s largest media agency. In November 2016 Matt left OMD and formed The Digital Café, a new agency focusing on helping smaller businesses and organisations.
Matt has been a keen runner since early school days, representing school, county and region. He has run the New York, Paris and Berlin marathons and completed the Marathon des Sables.
A founding member of the Achilles Wellington chapter, Matt became involved having seen a runner being guided one morning. It felt an excellent way to help others enjoy running.