Football Foundation appoints sports scientist as its new chief executive

posted in: News, Recognition

Experienced sports scientist Melanie Longdill has been appointed chief executive of the New Zealand Football Foundation.

Having qualified in New Zealand, she led Diploma and Degree programmes at WINTEC and was head of strength and conditioning with the Waikato Under 21 netball squad before departing to work overseas.

Longdill has recently returned to New Zealand from Qatar, where she was the Aspire Academy’s first female sport science and athlete development lead.

She replaces Dr Michele Cox who left the role late last year.

Announcing the appointment, Foundation chair Jodi Tong said: “Melanie is an innovative, knowledgeable and passionate sports leader who has demonstrably enhanced the lives of others through the power of sport.”

With New Zealand co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, the Foundation says it’s excited to appoint a leader with experience in innovating programmes for women and girls.

While in Qatar, Longdill led the Qatar Athlete Development Pathway Project, which included specific pathways for women athletes.

“Melanie’s ability to build relationships and credibility across cultural boundaries will be invaluable for our work in Aotearoa footballing communities,” said Tong.

Longdill said: “I am thrilled to be joining the passionate NZFF family, and I am excited to further build on our positive impact on football communities throughout New Zealand.”

About the NZ Football Foundation

The NZFF is a charitable foundation established to manage a capital fund that New Zealand Football received as a result of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

The Foundation’s purpose is to protect and grow its capital base and distribute net earnings for the benefit of football in New Zealand via grants.

Since its inception, NZFF has distributed more than $1.8m in grants to the football community.

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