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Ian Ferguson MBE

Inspiring Olympic Gold Medalist

Travels From:

Sporting Icon, Speaker

Inspiring, Credible, Engaging, Impactful, Memorable, Entertaining, Insightful

Motivation, Attitude, Inspiration, After dinner, Sporting icon, Sport, Entrepreneurs

Ian Ferguson (Ferg) is one of NZ's most successful Olympians - he won 4 Olympic gold medals, a silver, plus 5 World championship medals for kayaking. He has represented NZ at five Olympic Games and raced singles, doubles and fours.

More recently Ian became CEO of New Zealand's first and only man-made whitewater park in Manukau – it been a project 15 years in the making and something Ian has been passionate about developing so anyone can enjoy water sports and to provide a training ground for water rescue personnel.

Ferg was also famous as the 'Ferg and Macka' duo with his doubles partner Paul MacDonald and was made a Member of the British Empire in the 1985 New Year’s Honours for services and achievements to canoeing and was given the honour of carrying the NZ flag at the Opening ceremony of 1988 Seoul Olympics in recognition of his sporting achievements. Additionally, in 1996 he was awarded the “Olympian of the Century” award by the NZ Olympic Association.

Ferg has continued his kayaking career by forming and coaching the New Zealand Kayak Squad which included his son Steven.  He was awarded the prestigious SPARC Leadership Award at the Halberg Sports Awards in recognition of his superb contribution to NZ sport both on and off the water. The award is given to one outstanding sportsperson whose sport has expanded as a direct result of their input; who has personally raised awareness of their sport outside the sector; has a world leading approach to sport; shows integrity; and provides leadership which is effective, focused and inspiring.

Originally training as an accountant, Ferg and his wife founded a successful marine sports business hiring canoes and working on new designs and equipment to further advance canoeing and kayaking in NZ. It is their dream to see kayaking and other adventure activities easily accessible to everyone. All of the staff shared his vision to help people experience the sport he is so passionate about and he can deliver excellent teambuilding programmes that are suited to all organisations and can be tailored to client needs.

Ferg is an inspirational speaker who really adds value to a conference or special events programme … as keynote speaker/workshop presenter; after dinner speaker and/or outdoor teambuilding sessions for fun learning.


Just wanted to say thanks heaps for talking at our event. You were awesome and really did your job well by inspiring the audience. People loved holding the gold medals!  You were also fantastic at linking sporting success back to business success.
Nick McDonald - Precision Universal General Partner Limited