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New Australian champion leaps between training and study

Live sport returned early to one Australian lounge room.

Newly crowned Australian Aerobic Gymnast of the Year Hollie-Kate Melia was meant to be competing at the Australian Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne late last month. 

Instead, the Bond University Business and Law student had to rearrange the furniture in her dad’s Brisbane home so she could keep training during Covid-19 restrictions.

But Melia’s commitment to her sport is steadfast.

“It was so exciting to be named Australian Aerobic Gymnast of the Year,” Melia said.

“(Before coronavirus) I was living on the Gold Coast at Bond Uni and travelling to Brisbane four times a week to train.

"I was happy studying, experiencing the academic and the social side of things and still being able to do my sport.

“Living back in Brisbane during Covid has been tough with training.

“I got to the point where I told my brother, 'I'll buy you a TV and put it in your room, just leave me alone to train.'”

Melia, 20, is continuing her studies via remote learning and while disappointed that Covid-19 stopped what would have been her sixth consecutive appearance at nationals, she is planning on taking to the international stage when competition eventually resumes.

 “This year would have been my sixth state team in a row, but obviously nationals was cancelled,” she said.

“Last year I competed at level 10, the highest national level, and that is when I won nationals last year in May.

“I’ve decided to move into the international stream.

“Australia isn’t really well known on the international stage, but hopefully we can make an impact and start to change that.

“I can’t wait to start competing again."

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