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Valerie Adams named as sports ambassador

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/10/2016

Shot put champion Valerie Adams. © Getty Images Shot put champion Valerie Adams. Valerie Adams is New Zealand's first Pacific Sports Ambassador.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully made the announcement on Friday, saying her role would be to further develop New Zealand's strong sporting links with the region.

"Valerie Adams is uniquely qualified to carry out this important role," he said.

"She has strong connections to the Pacific through her Tongan heritage and is one of New Zealand's most successful and admired athletes."

Adams has won two Olympic gold medals and four world championships.

She was New Zealand's Sportswoman of the Year for seven consecutive years, from 2006 to 2012, and most recently won silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Mr McCully says her appointment to the new role follows several years of New Zealand's active involvement in the sports sectors of Pacific countries.

"This includes the government's recent announcement of a $10 million Pacific Sporting Partnerships programme aimed at getting more children in Pacific countries playing orgajnised sports."

Adams will travel to Tonga and Samoa next week to conduct coaching clinics with up-and-coming and elite athletes, promote healthy lifestyles and encourage participation in physical activity.

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