Pol­ish national champ coach­ing the Ki­wis

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By CHE BAKER

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.

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