It's been a big weekend for champion ice skater Chris Jarden of Somerfield.
On Saturday he turned 19 and on Sunday he left for the world junior short track speed skating championships in Warsaw with fellow local skater Ben Whiteside, 17.
Both also competed at last year's junior worlds in Melbourne, their first big international competition, and they hope the experience from that will benefit them in Poland, where they will be the only Kiwi representatives.
Members of the Canterbury Alpine Ice Speed Skating Club, they had just returned from five weeks of specialised training in Seoul, South Korea, before heading overseas again.
As well as being away this Christmas in Korea, the jetsetting pair were training in Salt Lake City the two previous Christmases.
Jarden, who has been the New Zealand junior champion for three years and is studying injury and exercise management at the NZ Institute of Sport, has been speed skating for about eight years at the Alpine Centre.
He will compete in 500, 1000, and 1500m races at the worlds.
Jarden and Whiteside posted qualifying times for Warsaw at the nationals in Auckland in September.
Since time on the ice is limited, they do technique training five days a weekoff the ice too.
Of his goals, Jarden said: "At the moment, just doing my best and seeing how far I can go.''
He hopes to step up to senior competition in the World Cup meetings - six will be held near the end of the year.
He has already qualified for World Cup competition in the 1500 and hopes to improve enough in the next few years to represent New Zealand at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.