By Emily Armitage, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Consulate Auckland.
In partnership with the Department of State’s SportsUnited and FIFA, United States Embassy Apia had the pleasure of hosting retired United States Women’s National Soccer Team midfielder Lori Lindsey in February 2016. Throughout her successful career, Lori represented the United States at the Olympics and the World Cup.
During her week-long trip to New Zealand and Samoa, Lori met with students, aspiring soccer stars, Samoan national team athletes, coaches and talent managers to share best practices, and describe her career journey as a professional athlete. She spoke about how she has advocated for inclusion and diversity through sport.
In Samoa, FIFA graciously organized a number of school visits and training sessions for Lori to meet with current and prospective athletes and impart news skills and advice. Highlights included a weight training session with the Samoan Men’ National Team and a chance to scrimmage with the Samoan Women’s Team. Lori also enjoyed visits to three different primary schools and a ‘Soccer Sisters’ clinic, which despite heavy rain, brought out a lot of interested players. Lori and the Embassy staff also had fun playing with kids from Samoan Victim Support group.
Lori’s visit was a great opportunity to talk about the importance of sport in America and the ability to promote diversity, inclusion, confidence and strength through sport.