Student to build NZ’s first bobsled track

A young skeleton racer will build New Zealand’s first southern hemisphere bobsled track after winning the NBR Online Audacious Challenge last night.

Louise Corcoran, who is studying for a master of entrepreneurship at the University of Otago, set up her own company – Alpine Parks New Zealand – perusing her dream, which already received interest from overseas investors.

Once the track is built, thrill seekers will be able to experience the high-speed thrills and spills of Olympic bobsled.

Miss Corcoran said with the right investors and board of directors the track would be complete before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“It’s a bit like Formula One on ice and I think the prospect of people being able to watch the world’s elite Olympic athletes as they compete and train is a huge opportunity for the region,” she said.

Miss Corcoran, who spends five months every year competing on the FIBT World Skeleton Tour overseas, competed at the 2006 Winter Olympics but was unable to attend this year due to a lack of funding.

Other winners of this year’s competition include runner up Quinn Lucas for Fitnessbuzz, which provides technological solutions to support people’s health and lifestyle needs; and Josh Tarbak for his Seabird Mitigation device, which he hopes will eliminate seabird by-catch on commercial fishing long lines.

Past winners of the challenge, which is now in its fifth year and is judged by a panel of business experts include Dr Kim Chilman Blair’s company Medikidz that now sells more than a million books around the globe.

The NBR Online Audacious Challenge is supported by the National Business Review, Dunedin City Council, the University of Otago School of Business, Otago Polytechnic, Anderson Lloyd Lawyers and WHK.

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