Gymnast joins elite group

GLADSTONE gymnast Keecia Mallie practically learned to walk in the gym hall, now almost 17 years later she has well and truly found her feet.

Mallie joined the absolute elite after last month's Harbour City Invitational when she passed Level 10 in Women's Artistic Gymnastics as only the fifth Gladstone gymnast to achieve the coveted rank.

A natural athlete, who also excels in netball, Mallie flew through the rankings with a plethora of medals and placings to her name throughout her fledgling career. Last year was a bogey year for Mallie in which she was unable to compete due to injury, but the ambitious athlete came back stronger than ever this year, proving her pluck with victory at the Invitational to achieve level 10. Keecia is planning to continue competing at Level 10 at a number of competitions this year and hopes to be selected in the Queensland team to compete at National Championship in Perth.

How did you get into the sport?

Mum signed me up to improve my balancing skills for netball and dancing. I still play netball and I stopped dancing in 2008 because I was getting more serious with gym. I started when I was three and I'm nearly 17.

How much time does it consume in your life?

Five days a week training, four hours a day plus competitions.

Who do you admire or aspire to be like in your sporting field?

I love watching the young girls in Australia. They might be seven and they've got better skills than me. They are so amazing.

What's your goal for 2011?

It was passing Level 10. I'd love to be in the national team but it's hard to get into it.

What is the most challenging aspect about your sport?

The strength and conditioning work and overcoming fears.

What do you enjoy most about it?

I make friends every year and I like the challenge of competing.

What's been your biggest highlight?

My most amazing feeling was either reaching Level 10 or my first state medal in Level 5.

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