Paraparaumu College student Lachlan Gardner has been selected into the New Zealand team for the World Goju Ryu Karate Championships, which will be held in Malaysia in September.
"I'm pretty excited," said Lachlan, when Kapiti News caught up with him at the college.
It will be the 16-year-old's second time being selected for the team though his first opportunity wasn't one to remember.
Two years ago he was part of the team set to take part in the Karate Commonwealth Championships in South Africa but the event was cancelled.
"I've been waiting for a long time to get the opportunity again so I'm really happy."
Lachlan will be in the team's 16/17 age under 60kg male division in both premier kata and kumite disciplines — kata involves a choreographed pattern of movements, and kumite is freestyle fighting.
Between now and the championships Lachlan will be increasing his training programme.
"I will be working harder.
"It is an international competition and I do want to bring a medal home."
The trip to the world championships isn't fully funded so Lachlan will be busy saving money from his part-time job at Monkeyman Tree Services, seeking a grant from the college, selling firewood and so on.
Lachlan's elevation into the national team came after some recent impressive performances.
In the regional's lower North Island championships held in Kilbirnie he won gold in the under 21 senior male kata as well as 16/17 open kumite.
And in the national championships held in the ASB Arena, Auckland, he got a silver medal in the 16/17 under 60kg male kumite.
Lachlan teaches karate in Waikanae and trains in Wellington — each at a Rembuden Karate Club.
He got into the sport when he was 8 years old.
"My brother Ryan was doing it so I went along and really enjoyed it.
"I liked the sparring, learning how to defend myself, and being introduced to competition brought a completely different side to it."
He progressed through the various belt gradings before gaining his first black belt [shodan] two years ago.
Karate offered the youngster a lot from giving back to the sport through teaching others, the challenge of sparring, the discipline in training, long-term progression, and a friendly community.