DAME VALERIE ADDS GOLDEN TOUCH TO HILUX NEW ZEALAND RURAL GAMES
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Dame Valerie Adams, twice Olympic shot put champion and ‘golden girl’ of New Zealand athletics, will chance her arm at some very different sports next month at the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games in Palmerston North.
A Toyota ambassador, Dame Valerie is back in her homeland before heading north for the forthcoming international season that will see her defend her 2016 IAAF Diamond Race victory, the fifth of her hugely successful career.
She will attend the Games on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th March. The weekend event is being held on The Square and features national and trans-Tasman championships for traditional sports like speed shearing and wood chopping alongside fun contests for spectators including speed milking, hay stacking and wine barrel racing. Entry to the event is free.
It is likely once formalities of the opening ceremony are complete, Dame Valerie may even try her hand at some of the events up against the nation’s finest. It is also hoped that she will drop by the Toyota marquee from time to time over the weekend to meet spectators.
“It will be a great chance to become involved in the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games and celebrate pure heartland and traditional rural sports,” she says.
Games founder and trustee, Steve Hollander says Dame Valerie Adams was the highest profile sportsperson to attend any Games so far.
“We are absolutely delighted that Dame Valerie is able to fit us into her hectic schedule. She is one of the greatest athletes this country has ever produced and a wonderful inspiration for all Kiwis to get out there and keep active, whether that’s in athletics or some of the quirkier rural sports we have at the Games,” he says.
“I have no doubt that she would absolutely smash the current New Zealand women’s gumboot throwing record of 34.45m set at last year’s Games and I reckon the world record of 49.25m is seriously under threat if she gave this a go. Everyone’s invited to come along and have a go at seeing how close they can get to a true sporting legend!”
On Friday 10th March, Dame Valerie will also attend the inaugural Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards dinner to present the award for New Zealand Rural Sportswoman of the Year, in association with 8 Wired Brewing. Tickets for the event at Awapuni Racecourse have already sold out.
The Hilux New Zealand Rural Games are sponsored by Toyota New Zealand, Fonterra, Husqvarna, Line 7, Mitre 10 and Norwood with major support from Palmerston North City Council, Manawatu District Council, New Zealand Racing Board and Simpson Grierson.
About the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games:
The Hilux New Zealand Rural Games is a two-day celebration of ‘sports that built the nation’ featuring national and trans-Tasman championships for traditional sports like speed shearing, wood chopping and Highland Games ‘heavy’ events. Spectators can also have a go at fun events including gumboot throwing, wine barrel racing, speed hand milking and cowpat tossing. The Games take place on The Square, Palmerston North on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th March. The Games are preceded on Friday 10th March by the 'Running of the Wools' - hundreds of locally bred sheep herding through Feilding town centre - and the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards that evening. For further information visit http://www.ruralgames.co.nz or follow the Games on social media.
Hilux New Zealand Rural Games are sponsored by Toyota New Zealand, Fonterra, Husqvarna, Line 7, Mitre 10 and Norwood with major support from Palmerston North City Council, Manawatu District Council, New Zealand Racing Board and Simpson Grierson.
Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards are sponsored by CB Norwood Distributors and presented by the New Zealand Rural Games Trust together with strategic partner, Federated Farmers of New Zealand.
The Running of the Wools and associated events are supported by Manawatu District Council, Tui Brewery, Mitre 10 Feilding, PGG Wrightson, Hotel Coachman, New Holland, Stocklines Manawatu and Potaka Station.