“Our vision is to have Every Body Active and that means making sure sport and recreation provides a welcoming and inclusive experience for all New Zealanders, and that people are treated with empathy and respect,” Sport NZ Chief Executive Raelene Castle said.
“Rebecca is the ideal person to lead this work. She has excellent leadership skills, a deep understanding of our sector, and has played a key role in a wide range of diversity and inclusion projects and networks. With her background in sport, I know she’ll also be a passionate advocate for the upcoming World Cups and what they can offer for women and girls.”
Rolls, who played international cricket from 1997 to 2007, is also a Director of New Zealand Cricket. She is of Ngāti Porou descent and has also served as director of the players’ associations for cricket as well as football. She has also held a number of leadership and senior management roles in the public sector.
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“For me, this is an opportunity to bring together the two sides of my career so far – leadership in the public sector and what I have achieved in sport as an athlete, administrator, and director,” said the 45 year old.
“It has been exciting to observe how strongly the sector has got behind the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation. I can’t wait to contribute to this work and help make the most of the wonderful opportunity New Zealand has in hosting three Women’s World Cups and the IWG World Conference.”
During her playing career, Rolls represented New Zealand in 107 matches, including 104 ODIs, two T20s, and one Test. She was the first wicket-keeper to reach 100 dismissals in women's limited-overs games and her 133 dismissals in ODIs are the most by a New Zealander. She scored 2201 runs at 25.01, making her the third-highest run-scorer in New Zealand's history.
She also represented her country as a goalkeeper for the Football Ferns in 21 matches.