World-class New Zealand athlete, Valerie Adams, has touched down in Samoa for her first visit.
The Pacific Sports Ambassador arrived from Tonga yesterday afternoon and was greeted by New Zealand’s High Commissioner, Jackie Frizelle, at the Faleolo International Airport.
She was then whisked away to a meeting with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi in Apia, followed by a tour of the Prosthetics and Orthotics workshop and National Pharmaceutical Warehouse at Motootua with the Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama.
Last night, she mixed and mingled with key people in the Samoan community during a welcome function hosted by the New Zealand High Commission’s Office at Letava.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Adams said she was delighted to be here.
“Obviously I have just been appointed as the Pacific Sports Ambassador for the Pacific and it’s such a great privilege,” she said.
“This is my second stop, I was in Tonga in the beginning of the week and now I am in Samoa.
“The whole purpose of this trip is to help motivate and inspire our people in the Pacific to live a healthy and happy lifestyle and to get them to make the necessary changes for the future of the children.”
Adams is in Samoa for an action-packed two days where she will promote healthy living among people of all ages.
“I hope to promote and inspire our people. I will also have the opportunity to actually sit down and do a coaching clinic tomorrow (today) with upcoming athletes or your high performing athletes here in Samoa, especially in track and field. I am looking forward to that.
“In Tonga, we had a coaching clinic and there were about 200 kids there.
“So it will be a great opportunity for me on the side of that to work with the Samoan high profile athletes and also as they prepare themselves for things like the Commonwealth Games, World Champs, Mini Games and all the other championships.”
Adams said she will be sharing a lot of tips with the athletes.
“It’s the simple things like what it takes to be a champion, what needs to happen and the choices that they need to make because I don’t want to call them sacrifices, because nobody is forcing them to do sports. It’s a choice that they make to do what they’ve got to do.”
Adams said she is expecting a great time in Samoa.
“The trip to Tonga was amazing,” she said. “It was great for me to start in Tonga because it is my motherland and that was awesome.
“We had a great time with the kids and a great time doing coaching clinics and being involved at that grassroots level.
“I think it’s one thing to talk about it from another country but it’s another to actually be on the ground and actually work with the local people.
“And that was great and big thank you to the New Zealand Government for stepping in and having this initiative to try and help the people in the Pacific because they actually do care about the health of our people.”