While the New Zealand Prime Minster, the Rt Honourable Jacinda Ardern admitted today that she had never very good at sports at school, she was able to give some of New Zealand’s future sports stars some good advice.
Ms Ardern told around 60 gathered children at a Queen’s Baton Relay event in Auckland that she was in awe of athletes’ achievements and practice was important.
“If you there is something you really love doing and you practice and practice and practice you could be one of these athletes one day too,” she said.
The Prime Minister was the special guest for Commonwealth Games ‘have-a-go’ sports event in Auckland today which formed another leg on the Queen’s Baton’s six day tour of New Zealand.
Ms Ardern was also on hand to congratulate the men’s artistic gymnasts who were selected to the New Zealand Team to Gold Coast 2018.
She told the crowd of young people that being named to the New Zealand team is a huge achievement.
“I remember watching the Commonwealth Games when I was your age and I was always in awe of the athletes and what they achieved’ she said.
“I want to say congratulations to the team who have been selected. It’s such an amazing thing to go and represent New Zealand and a lot hard work has gone into getting here today. The New Zealand team makes me so proud when I watch them compete on the international stage. I’m lucky enough to be going to the Commonwealth Games and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The CEO of the New Zealand Olympic Committee said how honoured she was to have the Prime Minster attend the Auckland event. “We’re delighted the Prime Minster could join us and help us promote sport and the excitement of the Commonwealth Games and inspire children to focus on their goals and work hard towards them, she said.”
“We extend our thanks to Ms Ardern for her time today.”
The Prime Minister then watched as the children took part in a range of Commonwealth Sports such as gymnastics, hockey, badminton, athletics and weightlifting.
She was joined by athletes including gold medal cyclist double gold medal winning cyclist Graham Miller, rugby sevens Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallists Tyla Nathan Wong, DJ Forbes, weightlifter Bailey Rogers and boxer Alexis Pritchard.
The Queen's Baton will take part in a Swimming and Diving selection announcement tomorrow at AUT Millennium at 11am before travelling to Precious McKenzie's retirement home "Settlers" and Westfield Albany shopping centre.