Tal­ented teenager smash­ing all goals

Ten­nis star off to cap­i­tal for na­tion­als

Central Telegraph - - SPORT -

“Most of it is ath­lete qual­ity to pre­vent in­jury, so when you hit the ball it hap­pens smoothly and you are less likely to hurt your­self.”

Phys­i­cally train­ing for such an elite level takes a high level of fit­ness.

“It’s an all-around sport – you are run­ning around a lot but you are still try­ing to hit it hard,” Ameli­ija said.

And if that was not enough, Ameli­ija is also jug­gling school­ing.

Aca­dem­i­cally gifted, she has been ac­cel­er­ated three years and is now study­ing Year 11.

“I do some sub­jects through dis­tance ed­u­ca­tion and my school in Moura is re­ally happy to give me work for the week,” she said.

“We have a teach­ing room at the academy to do our school­work, so it doesn’t im­pact my school­work that much.”

Start­ing from a young age, Ameli­ija first picked up a racket at about four years old and by age nine was com­pet­ing in tour­na­ments.

“I just like the sport, re­ally, and be­ing able to have fun and play ten­nis,” she said.

Through the years with all her wins, Ameli­ija has learnt a thing or two about the sport.

“I think it is im­por­tant to be re­ally fair with call­ing,” she said.

“Be a fair player, have a good skill set to play at a high level.

“En­joy the sport more than any­thing.”

When Ameli­ija is out on the court, she said it all came down to con­cen­tra­tion.

“Fo­cus­ing on play­ing my game and not mak­ing silly er­rors,” she said.

“And just play­ing strong ten­nis.”

Trav­el­ling all across the coun­try, Ameli­ija said she was grate­ful for how far ten­nis had taken her.

“It’s re­ally nice. I get to see all of Aus­tralia, I get to see all the tourist things and play at the na­tion­als in be­tween the states and see all the changes.”

And she was grate­ful for the peo­ple who had helped get her there.

“Def­i­nitely my mum and dad for driv­ing me to all the tour­na­ments most weeks, and my dad for coach­ing me,” Ameli­ija said.

In the fu­ture, Ameli­ija hopes ten­nis will take her in­ter­na­tional.

“Even­tu­ally I want to go on a pro­fes­sional cir­cuit,” she said.

“I want to play in America on the col­lege ten­nis cir­cuit and get a de­gree.”

Ameli­ija in train­ing at the Na­tional Academy.

PHOTO: NICHOLE SWAFFER

Ameli­ija at the Bund­aberg Age Cham­pi­onships.

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