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Hockey Australia appoints David Pryles as new CEO

Published Tue 05 Oct 2021

Hockey Australia (HA) is excited to announce David Pryles as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Pryles comes to HA after three and a half years as the CEO of Softball Australia.

With strong commercial and operational acumen, Pryles has led a raft of positive outcomes at the organisations he has worked for and developed excellent stakeholder relationships.

“Following a comprehensive and thorough recruitment process, we are extremely pleased to have someone of David’s calibre and expertise,” said HA President Mel Woosnam.

“David has demonstrated success and leadership skills as a CEO for an Olympic sporting organisation and understands the landscape, the opportunities and challenges that come with it.”

“He has a strong commercial background from previous sporting roles and previously in the business world.

“He also has a keen understanding of high performance and the critical importance of culture within a high performance environment, plus a real understanding of community sport and participation in developing the strength of hockey.”

“He has operated in a federated model and already has existing contacts with many of Hockey Australia’s key national stakeholders such as the AIS, Sport Australia and the AOC.”

“David is an excellent acquisition to lead Hockey Australia.”

Pryles’ enthusiasm to join HA stems from the many facets and levels of the sport that he can provide input to and make a positive impact.

“Hockey is a big sport, a proud Australian sport, a heritage sport, and having the opportunity to lead the organisation is a huge honour,” said Pryles.

“There are so many dedicated stakeholders working really hard in the best interests of hockey in Australia. There is a strong foundation in regard to a national league and in regard to two of the most loved sporting teams in Australia in the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos.”

Grass roots participation, building a strong sense of community and supporting local clubs and volunteers is another area Pryles is passionate about.

“Sport does not exist without its members. If they are not playing then we don’t have a sport,” said Pryles.

“As a proud volunteer in sport I understand what makes people tick. We need to continue to give back to our members and that’s something I look forward to doing in hockey.”

“The opportunity to build a whole of sport commercial strategy, and there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle that we can bring together and into market, is also something I am really keen to sink my teeth into.

“I look forward to the opportunity to work closely with the states and territories as we collectively build on the strengths of the hockey community.”

“Then building on the cultural review into the high performance program is something that is exciting. We are really proud of the changeover that we did in softball in changing our high performance program less than 12 months out from a qualification event.

“There is a Commonwealth Games less than 12 months away and an Olympics two and a half years away so it’s really exciting being able to affect change.

“I have stated this many a time, it is important to respect the past but we’ve got to move forward and influence the now and into the future.”

Under Pryles’ leadership, Softball Australia became a member of the Australian Pride in Sport program in December last year, highlighting his strong ethos on inclusion, one of Hockey Australia’s core values.

Pryles will officially start in the role on 12 January 2022.