Naseby teenager Josh Fogo is in Europe to compete in the Natural Track Luge World Cup series.
The 15-year-old John McGlashhan College student and his 16-year-old training partner, Jack Leslie, of Christchurch, prepared on the Naseby Luge Track during the southern hemisphere winter and spent four weeks training and competing in Italy and Austria in January where Fogo finished 35th in a field of 50 racers at the world championships.
On their latest trip they compete in four World Cup races in Italy and Austria between January 4 and 26.
They will train and compete as part of an International Luge Federation development programme and will compete against the best in the sport including Italian world champion Patrick Pigneter and Polish champion Adam Jedrzejko who coached at Naseby in 2012 and 2013.
Pigneter has already won the first world cup of the season in Russia with Jedrzejko finishing 14th.
New Zealand Luge president Geoff Balme said support from the international body made it possible for the young men to attend.
''While unco-operative weather meant we didn't have a very good season in New Zealand this year, I'm sure once Leslie and Fogo are luging every day on the best European tracks they will quickly get back up to speed.''
Natural Track Luge takes place on tracks constructed in natural mountain terrain without the artificially elevated curves and refrigeration of Olympic luge tracks.
World Cup events are held every year and World Championships every second year.
- The Mirror