World-class trio heading to Europe

Alexandra school friends from left, Ollie Goldsmith, Cooper Millwood, both 17, and Eddie Adams,...
Alexandra school friends from left, Ollie Goldsmith, Cooper Millwood, both 17, and Eddie Adams, 18, are all competing in Europe this month at international competitions. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Three young boys moved to town about the same time and became friends.

They spent their spare time riding their bikes and eating garlic bread — they were friendships like thousands of others but with one crucial difference.

They were all now on their way to representing New Zealand in international sporting arenas.

Eddie Adam, Ollie Goldsmith and Cooper Millwood all arrived in Alexandra about the same time.

All attended Terrace School and were just like any other children, Ollie said.

"We used to be quite lazy ... we would hang out at the dirt jumps by the river and eat junk food."

Ollie Goldsmith. Photo: Instagram
Ollie Goldsmith. Photo: Instagram
However, by year 11 they had all become serious about their sport.

Ollie, 17, who moved from Fairlie, followed his older brother Tom’s lead into kayaking.

"I saw he was able to travel the world so I decided to give it a crack."

And give it a crack he did.

Last year he made the NZ under-18 team for kayak cross and this year he had made the NZ team for both K1 and kayak cross.

K1 is racing in a very light boat in flat water and kayak cross, or slalom, is manoeuvring through an obstacle course both up and downstream.

It took Ollie quite a long time to get the hang of the slalom but it was his preferred class.

Last month Ollie flew to Prague where he reunited with his coach, before heading to the World under-18 Kayak Slalom competition in Slovakia next month.

Eddie Adams, Photo: Instagram
Eddie Adams, Photo: Instagram
Eddie Adams, 18, arrived in Alexandra from Darfield a couple of years after Ollie.

His sport is cross-country mountainbiking and he flies to Barcelona this month to compete at the worlds in Andorra.

He will also race in France before returning home after nine weeks in Europe.

Cross-country is the only Olympic mountainbike discipline.

Rather than just hurtling downhill, the cross-country racers battle drops, rocks and last minute sprints to the finish.

The warmer weather in Europe was something Eddie was looking forward to after getting up to train in the cold Central Otago mornings, and training until dark after school.

The third member of the trio, Cooper Millwood, who has left school, competes in enduro mountainbiking.

He is currently in Europe competing at the Enduro Mountainbiking World Series hoping for a spot in the world cup.

Eddie said while their disciplines were different they had pushed each other to improve their skills.

Ollie and Eddie had been working to complete as much of their school work as possible before leaving and would have to catch up when they returned.

All their travelling and training was expensive and both also had jobs.

Ollie had worked at The Warehouse for the past two years, and they gave him plenty of shifts during the summer holidays, he said.

Eddie worked at two bike shops after school and during the weekends.

The help and support of their parents, clubs, employers, coaches and school teachers was crucial to their success both athletes said.

While a professional sporting career would be a dream, each had a back up plan.

Ollie intended to head to Waikato University to study business management and Eddie to Canterbury University for engineering and product design.