Thursday 05 August 2021

Gold for Alessia

As the Tokyo Olympics draw to an end with the closing ceremony taking place on Sunday 8 August we have witnessed incredible feats of athleticism, skill and strength, in an Olympic Games like no other in history. As a school, we have enjoyed every moment of the games and relished the highs and lows, excitement and success of all of the Australian athletes. One student who has been watching the games closely is  Year 12 student Alessia.

Alessia first started out in Little Athletics at the age of nine, enjoying the social aspects and the satisfaction of achieving personal bests. Fast forward to April 2021 Alessia is now in her final year of school and competing, along with a number of other students, at the 2021 Track and Field Championships held at Sydney Olympic Park. It was fortunate that the event went ahead as she had missed out in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. Alessia competed in two events at the Championships, both Long Jump and Hurdles and ended up winning Gold in the hurdles.  She is currently the Australian Champion in the Women’s U20 100m hurdles.

During her time as a student at Ivanhoe Alessia has broken many records and represented the School in many events. She recently gave us some insights into how she started out in athletics, what drives her to compete and her plans for the future.

How long have you been competing?

I have been competing for eight years, the majority of the time in Little Athletics up until two years ago where I now compete in the Victorian Athletics Seniors Competition.

What are the highlights of your time in athletics so far?

Personal bests are always a highlight, but I have been very fortunate to compete in State and National Championships. Unfortunately, the 2020 National Championships were cancelled due to Covid-19 so to have been able to compete this year was a highlight.

What does a week of training look like for you?

Basically, I train all year round for 2 hours, 3 days a week. Training varies depending on whether I am preparing for competitions or maintaining my strength and fitness during the offseason. Last year was particularly difficult due to the restrictions enforced during lockdowns. 

How do you manage your sport commitments and academic work at school?

It can be a juggle; however, I have found regular exercise is extremely important in relieving stress, particularly in year 12. It’s all about finding the right balance.

Who do you look up to and most admire?

When it comes to hurdles, certainly Sally Pearson and Liz Clay as well as Brooke Stratton in the Long Jump.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I plan to continue with athletics for as long as I enjoy it and remain competitive, not to mention injury-free.