Kristy Hill to lead Team NZ to Samoa

Dan Palmer

New Zealand have appointed Kristy Hill as their Chef de Mission for this year's Pacific Games in Apia.

The former footballer, a two-time Olympian, will lead a Kiwi team of around 90 athletes at the Games in the Samoan capital.

New Zealand are expected to compete in athletics, beach volleyball, football, sailing, taekwondo and weightlifting.

Hill has previous experience of administration having led New Zealand's athlete support services at two editions of the Commonwealth Youth Games.

"I'm passionate about the role of sport in building communities and leaders, and I really believe in the importance of New Zealand values and identity as a means for achieving success in a high-performance sport environment," she said.

"I'm looking forward to building a team culture in Samoa which will add to our athletes' performance and help them meet their goals."

New Zealand, along with the other Oceania powerhouse Australia, competed at the Pacific Games for the first time at the last edition in Papua New Guinea in 2015.

Both countries sent small squads by their standards which lacked most of their major stars.

The Kiwis won just one gold in Port Moresby and finished 17th on the medal table.

Thirty-nine-year-old Hill, a defender, made 17 appearances for New Zealand's women's football team and appeared at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. The Pacific Games will run between July 7 and 20.

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