Physical Disability Rugby League NZ (PDRLNZ) is pleased to announce, former Warrior and New Zealand International, Kiwi #657 Tony Tatupu, has been appointed as PDRLNZ’s new ambassador.
Tony made his NRL debut against the Brisbane Broncos in 1995 as Warrior #12 and has represented both New Zealand and Samoa. Tony now serves as a New Zealand Police officer and represented the New Zealand Police at the inaugural Police World Cup 2008.
Tony’s appointment as PDRLNZ’s new ambassador comes at an exciting time for disability rugby league. The PDRLNZ South Pacific 9’s Challenge will see the Polynesia All Stars take on the Invitational All Stars as the curtain-raiser match for the Great Britain League Lions v Tonga test at Waikato’s FMG Stadium on October 26 – a first for the sport.
“It is an absolute honour to have been considered for the Ambassador position and it was an easy decision after having met the Physical Disability Rugby League NZ team and their families for the very first time,” Tony said.
“I was immediately captivated and inspired by the player’s individual journeys, their resilience and determination to overcome barriers so they can play and enjoy our game. To witness our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters in action is truly humbling and I have nothing but aroha and respect for each of them and their families. Grateful to Paul Walsh and Vaughan Perry for introducing me to PDRLNZ.
“PDRLNZ has empowered me to advocate and champion this wonderful kaupapa by promoting its vision – to normalise physical disability, and encourage our physical disability families to get involved. It has motivated me to reconnect with the Warriors Old Boys, NZ Warriors and NZRL and as a result, a number of brothers from the OGs who have kindly offered their support.”
Sandra Hickey, Founder and Chair of Physical Disability Rugby League, said: “We are thrilled to bits that Tony has accepted the role of Ambassador for Physical Disability Rugby League NZ. Tony is a very humble and honourable person who has a big heart for people, especially those who don’t get as much opportunity in this life as others. We are looking forward to working together to encourage more people with a physical disability to get out and get active. The future is looking really exciting for PDRL”.
Click here to purchase tickets to the GB Lions v Tonga test match / PDRLNZ curtain-raiser