Q & A with Ben Kennings CEO of Surfing NZ

Q & A with Ben Kennings CEO of Surfing NZ - LUXWORKS

Intro from LUX:

I (Keri - one of the directors of LUX) is on the Surfing NZ Board and i've got to know Ben over the last 3 years of being back in NZ.  Ben is the CEO of Surfing NZ and these Q & A sessions are about people that inspire us.  Over the three years of being closely involved through surfing he never ceases to amaze me with his 'can do' attitude and keep his cool through some challenging situations. Running a national sport organisation where funding is tight and through covid where there was little to no events that is the usual income to the organisation and staying positive is no easy feat.  That takes some definite tools in managing so I was curious to see what he does to keep his cool, drive forward with passion and succeed in his job so well. 

He also broke his back and smashed recovery and is back in the water surfing, all of these trials definitely build resilience so i'm pumped on listening to his podcasts as this takes mental effort to recover from.

I love the part he says about how if you put in the work, the results follow.  It's a similar saying to, where energy goes, energy flows, it's so true. 

Also you'll see he talks about A Surfing Foundation - if this is something you're interested in being a part of or learning more about, contact Ben on ben@surfingnz.co.nz

Introduce yourself... what is it that occupies your time at the moment - work/pleasure?I’m Ben and I am the Chief Executive for Surfing New Zealand, the national sporting body for surfing.  Heading into the depths of winter, our team spends more time in the office than out delivering initiatives in summer.  Our focus is on planning for the coming season starting in October, securing funding and partnerships to support our initiatives and of course some time out.  For me, time out is about finding winter waves and heading to the snow with my family.

Do you have a store / website / social pages that people can get to know you more?Surfing New Zealand has a website here and social channels Instagram & Facebook where we provide valuable information to our community, keeping them updated on athlete performances and keep our fans entertained.

What is it that makes you content? Do you consciously try to be content or is it something that just happens naturally?

Workwise, being content is around our team being productive and functioning well which leads to ticking off goals.  If you put in the work, results follow, and that is when you feel the most content.  For us, winter can be rewarding in that regard with the extra time in the office to get stuck into big projects while summer is about delivery.

What books / podcasts / playlists do you recommend at the moment and why?Podcasts are occupying more of my time than books these days.

  • Inside Sponsorship/The Inner Chief/Sport Geek/Small Business Big - Marketing Work Ideas
  • Freakonomics/Revisionist History – To Challenge Thinking
  • Garyvee - For some Motivation and Social Media Insights
  • Rich Roll and The Tim Ferriss Show – For the Guests
  • Lipped/Stab/Spit/Ain’t That Swell - For my Surfing Fix

Can you share any tools in your tool belt that you use at the moment that bring you back to your centre?

Spending time with my family always brings me back to centre.  Getting into the ocean and surfing is extremely important too, often more than I realise.  Lately I have been trying to get into a morning routine of mobility, stretching and strength work, all at home with no equipment, followed by Wim Hof’s 10 minute guided breathing tutorial on YouTube.

What are you excited about at the moment? Anything up and coming you want to share?Surfing New Zealand is setting up a Surfing Foundation and the project really excites me.  We have a great team behind it and some strong market research that backs up its potential for success.  Success will see a boost in support for our high performance programme and athletes.

Have you used LUX Products? If yes, which ones and what do you have to say about them?

I haven’t personally used any LUX products but we have been fortunate enough to hand out some as prizes at our events and the recipients were stoked to receive them.

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