Senior management

Our senior management team is led by Chief Executive Alex Baumann.

Alex Baumann

Alex has been the Chief Executive of HPSNZ since January 2012.

Alex has a wealth of experience in the high performance sport arena, from his early days as a world class swimmer, to his leadership of national and regional high performance programmes. His most recent roles were Executive Director for the Queensland Academy of Sport (2002 -2006) , and Chief Executive Officer of Own the Podium, Canada’s high performance sport programme (2006 – 2012).

As a Canadian representative swimmer, Alex’s achievements included two Olympic Gold medals (LA 1984), two world records and two World Male Swimmer of the Year titles (1981, 1984).

He has an Honours degree in Political Science from Laurentian University, a Graduate Diploma of Education from the University of Queensland, and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Laurentian University.

More about Alex: The new Chief Executive of High Performance Sport New Zealand believes in winning.

Pete Pfitzinger

Pete has a long involvement in high performance sport, as an athlete, coach, sports physiologist and manager. He was a world class marathon runner, representing the USA at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, before moving into the field of exercise physiology and sport management. Pete was Performance Services Manager and then CEO of the NZ Academy of Sport North Island, a forerunner to HPSNZ, from 2000 to 2011.

Pete is responsible for high performance (HP) coaching, HP leader capability development, HP athlete development, performance planning, innovation and technology and leveraging high performance knowledge.

Pete holds an MBA from Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Pete on LinkedIn 

Mike McGovern

Mike joined HPSNZ in July 2014. His role is to lead the team that develops and implements the HPSNZ targeted investment strategy, manages performance partnerships with national sporting organisations (NSOs) to develop world-leading HP programs, and manages the HPSNZ facility and regional hub strategy to create world-leading training and performance environments.

Mike has more than 23 years’ experience in sports management with over half of that in high performance leadership and senior management positions.  He was most recently with the Australian Institute of Sport, where he led the team responsible for assisting targeted sports with high performance strategy and performance planning, as well as managing high performance investment to national sporting organisations focussed on achieving medals on the world stage.

Mike has an MBA (Sport Management) from Deakin University. He is also a former Australian touch football representative and National League coach.

Mike on LinkedIn
International expert to help Kiwis keep winning on the world stage

Martin Dowson

Martin has more than 25 years’ experience in providing or managing the support to high performance athletes.   He has worked with athletes in New Zealand, England and Japan as a sports scientist and strength and conditioning coach, was a Senior Lecturer in Sports Science at AUT University, and from 2005 developed and led the Performance Services team at the NZ Academy of Sport, the forerunner to HPSNZ.

Martin leads Athlete Support and is responsible for the quality of all the performance support provided for athletes and coaches. This covers a range of support such as athlete life advice, strength and conditioning coaching, performance and technique analysis, physiotherapy and medical services, physiology, psychology and nutrition.

Martin has a Bachelor of PE from Otago University, and a Master of Philosophy in Exercise Physiology from Loughborough University.

Martin on LinkedIn

Zoltan Varadi

Zoltan joined High Performance Sport New Zealand as GM Business Operations in November 2013. He is responsible for optimising HPSNZ’s financial and operational performance to ensure that resources are maximised to deliver a positive impact on performance.

Zoltan’s background is in finance and operations with a focus on delivering strategic and technology focused business solutions. Prior to joining HPSNZ he was Chief Financial Officer at Media Design School within the Laureate International Universities Group (2011 – 2013), Group Financial Controller at ACP Media (2007 – 2011), and Financial Controller with NZX listed Albano Healthcare Ltd (2005 – 2006).

Zoltan has a Bachelor of Commerce from Auckland University and is a registered Chartered Accountant. He also has a black belt in Karate, Taekwondo, Judo and Shaolin Kempo.

Zoltan on LinkedIn