One of New Zealand's true golden girls has been selected as the nation's first Pacific Sports Ambassador.
Triple Olympic medalist Valerie Adams will take up the post and will travel to Tonga and Samoa next week to conduct coaching clinics with up and coming elite athletes.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced the announcement at the AUT Millennium Institute today.
He said this will continue to strengthen our already strong sporting ties with the Pacific.
"Valerie Adams is uniquely qualified to carry out this important role. She has strong connections to the Pacific through her Tongan heritage and is one of New Zealand's most successful athletes," McCully said.
He said this is all part of a plan to help Pacific athletes compete on the world stage.
"The development of this new role follows several years of New Zealand's active in the sports sector in 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 organised sports."
Adams said while she's excited for the role, there's still a lot standing in the way of international success.
"They don't have the resources or the infrastructure to make that happen or the right people to make it happen. So hopefully while we are there we can help advise on ways to make it better and give the kids the opportunity," she said.
She said there is a wealth of talent in the Islands and they just need a little help.
"If we can go there and get them started in any shape or form that would be great."
"The biggest thing would be for them to represent their country because that's where they're from and that's where their heart is," she said.