Shirley Boys’ High School’s Ethan De Rose is off to the junior world championships for short track speed skating.
The 15-year-old will represent New Zealand in Poland in March 2018.
It will be the second time he has competed for the team, also competing in Austria in January this year.
He will travel to Latvia where he will train before heading to Poland to compete in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m distances.
Ethan said he “did alright” at his first world championships, however, was a young competitor in the single grade event, competing against athletes as old as 19.
He trains three days a week on the ice, three days in the gym and runs on Sundays.
Ethan began speed skating when he was four after getting a voucher for a free trial.
Coach Mark Jackson said Ethan’s natural talent was obvious from a young age.
Mr Jackson has known Ethan as an athlete since he was five years old.
He hopes Ethan will finish in the top 20 at the world championships and the following year will aim for top 10.
In spite of being too young to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, Mr Jackson hopes to train Ethan for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
“If he trains really well and shows the same kind of commitment and talent that he’s got now, he will have a good chance for the team then.”
Their current training has focused on building Ethan a strong endurance base.
“He’s got to have a good base behind him to go into an international programme elsewhere,” he said.
Mr Jackson really enjoys coaching the athlete.
“He has amazing concentration . . . he’s one of those guys who’s always wanting to learn, he’s asking me more than I’m telling him, not many kids at his age are like that,” he said.