Four young speed skaters from Whanganui will represent New Zealand in the Oceania Speed Skating Championships in Brisbane over Easter.
They will play a small, but influential part of a large New Zealand contingent with all four being current or former national age group champions.
For Renee Teers the championships will be a return to old hunting grounds as the 16-year-old New Zealand champion is attending her fourth Oceania competition. This year she will be one of the top contenders in the Junior Women's (Under 19) competition.
Teers is using Oceania as a build up to a run at the Junior World Championships is Barcelona Spain in July.
Chase Morpeth and Drew Brennan have both been in this competition before and both are in terrific form with Morpeth winning the New Zealand Indoor Nationals at Christmas and the Roger Croad Memorial Trophy at the recent Laurie Hastie Cup in Palmerston North.
After the competition Morpeth is heading to the United States to get a taste of international competition.
Brennan has been picking up podium places at all the national events this past season in his first year in the Junior grade. Together with Josh Valentine they will form the backbone of the Cadet Boys (Under 15) team.
This is Valentine's first Oceania competition but he is coming off an incredible nationals season having swept the Juvenile Boys grade, taken a host of national records and won the Jo Bright Trophy for the most outstanding male skater. He may be one of the youngest competitors but he certainly won't be out of his depth.
The New Zealand team will be coached by Whanganui club member and former national champion Rebecca Smith. Racing starts on Sunday.