NUKU’ALOFA, (MATANGI TONGA) – Valerie Kasanita Adams, a two–time Olympic gold medalist arrived in Tonga on Monday,her first assignment role as New Zealand’s Pacific Sports Ambassador to promote and encourage healthy lifestyle and sports participation in the Pacific.
The 32-year-old Shot Put champion was happy to meet and greet in Tongan youngsters in a “Just Play” football program, at the ‘Atele Indoor Stadium.
Valerie showed her Olympic Gold and Silver medals to the young Tongans.
A young Special Olympian Tutaleva Fehoko was allowed to wear the medais. Tutaleva, was herself a silver medalist in the 50m run from the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, and was ecstatic to meet the champion, Valerie.
Valerie said her new role with the New Zealand Government is to encourage everyone to live and be healthy, which starts by exercising daily in order to live happy long lives.
“It’s great to be in Tonga and this is my first stop of my three-day visit here. I know I have a big responsibility as part of this role to encourage and inspire you, our children the future of Tonga and parents. I hope that with today’s run around can help and inspire you to do a little bit everyday with something as simple as 30 minutes walking a day is better than nothing.”
New Zealand High Commissioner Sarah Walsh said New Zealand is proud of to work alongside the Oceania Football Confederation and community here to support the “Just Play” program, which has been running in Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Cook Islands and Solomon Islands.
“Today is very special because we brought someone who is a piece of Tonga and a piece New Zealand to help the program,” she said.