Polish national champ coaching the Kiwis
New Zealand natural luge athletes will have a new coach this year with 25-year-old Adam Jedrzejko, a regular on the world luging stage, taking up the position. Mr Jedrzejko arrived in New Zealand earlier this month and, with the help of the International Luge Federation, will be based at the Naseby Luge Track. He is the three times Polish champion, has competed in World Cup competitions since 2003 and last season placed 9th in the overall World Cup series and 14th at the World Championships. New Zealand Olympic Luge Association president Geoff Balme said Mr Jedrzejko would take over the position from Guntis and Rigonda Rekis who are expecting a baby at the end of July. It was hoped the the 360-metre luge would be operational this month but the opening date will be weather dependent. Mr Jedrzejko position will include coaching the New Zealand team, which has been going from strength-to-strength since the luge in Naseby opened in 2008 with many athletes competing and training internationally. Last year two team members, Josh Fogo of Christchurch and Jack Leslie of Dunedin, finished 35th and 36th respectively in a field of 50 racers (from 20 countries) at the Natural Track Luge World Championships in Italy. Mr Jedrzejko will also help host the Naseby Ice Festival, luge camp and ice camps which were the highlight of each winter, Mr Balme said. All three events will run in the July school holidays with the luge camp taking place from July 15 to 19, the festival on July 20 and the ice camp, which included instructed lessons in curling, luge and ice skating, from July 22 to 26. This year luge competitions will take place on July 14, 20, 21 and 27.