Houston appointed CEO of Australian Sailing

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Commonwealth Games Australia President Ben Houston has been announced as the new Chief Executive Officer of Australian Sailing.

Houston was elected as Commonwealth Games Australia President at the 2018 Annual General Meeting in November last year, replacing long serving President Sam Coffa who stepped down after more than 20 years of service following the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

A past President of Triathlon Australian, Houston will continue his long association with sport and said he was excited to join Australian Sailing, a sport he grew to love learning to sail lasers on the waters of Bundaberg in his youth.

“It is a great honour to join Australian Sailing. Sailing has played a significant role in creating our national identity, and I am excited about the opportunity to create a stronger connection with our sport and the sailing community” Houston said on his appointment.

He will set to work immediately on strengthening ties with clubs, classes and associations across the country as he continues the work done on the One Sailing governance model by previous CEO John Lee. He will also work with the athletes and coaches of the Australian Sailing Team, as they enter the business end of their preparations for next year’s Olympic Games in Japan.

Houston, an experienced lawyer, will bring his strong business acumen to the position, having over two decades of experience in negotiating major sports sponsorship, media and digital rights deal including working with the Telstra Group Executive to negotiate Telstra’s digital rights deals as part of the multi-billion-dollar deals with the AFL and NRL.

As a former lead of Telstra’s National Sponsorship program, Houston has valuable sports industry experience and was responsible for managing Telstra’s multi-million-dollar sponsorship portfolio of sports and arts properties and national sporting events.

“After an extensive search, the Board of Australian Sailing could not be happier with the appointment of Ben as our next CEO. He brings a unique mix of legal, commercial and governance experience along with an understanding of the needs of all of our stakeholders,” said President of Australian Sailing, Matt Allen.

With Sailing Australia

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