Timaru's reputation as a place to spend the summer inline skating is slowly growing in the northern hemisphere with the arrival of three young Slovaks.
Martina Karabova, Radka Goliasova and Veronika Servatkova will spend 10 weeks in South Canterbury, training and racing.
What has also attracted them here is the new international class facility and Bill Begg's reputation as a world-class coach. Begg met and trained Karabova and Servatkova in Berlin earlier this year and they decided they wanted to come out to New Zealand.
Karabova's older sister, Renata, also spent time in Timaru two years ago.
The trio come from Kosice, in eastern Slovakia, which has a population of 240,000. They have all competed at the European championships and Servatkova is a convert from speed skating on ice.
Karabova said they are looking forward to the opportunities available by coming to Timaru.
Begg said they will compete in an age group that is particularly strong in Timaru.
"Martina is 17 and the other two are 14, so they will learn a lot and also get some competitive skating."
Begg said they will skate at the New Zealand championships and the Tour of Timaru in January.
"The good news is another group is interested in coming out from Indonesia at some stage."
It was pleasing the track the community got behind to build was highly rated. Without it the girls wouldn't have come, he said.
- The Timaru Herald