Fresh from a debut appearance at the World Roller Games in China, where she represented Australia, Griffith business student Rachel Beck will take to the rink again this week at the 2017 Oceania Artistic Championships.
The 19-year-old will be competing a lot closer to home this time around at the Mount Warren Sports Centre in Beenleigh where teams from China, Japan and New Zealand will also get their skates on from Thursday to Sunday (Sept 21-24).
“This is my first year competing at senior level so I was quite happy with my efforts at the world championships,” said Rachel who finished in 21st position. “The overall champion from Argentina has been a senior for 10 years.”
Rachel had the chance to fly the Australian flag after her strength, flexibility and seven months of hard work and unrelenting patience laid the groundwork for her triumph in the national championships.
Rachel, a sport management major at Griffith’s Nathan campus, successfully balanced life as a university student – including a venue management internship at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) – with her training and preparations for the World Roller Games where she took part in the figures discipline.
“I decided to do the internship because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m not going to get this chance again. I thought ‘Why not go for it?’
“My GOLDOC internship has definitely lived up to my expectations. It’s probably bigger than what I thought it would be. It’s probably the best opportunity I’ve been given.
“Griffith University offering this internship to the students is the most amazing opportunity they could give us. Students at other universities don’t have this opportunity and I’m just so happy that I was in the right place at the right time at the right university to be offered this internship.”
Rachel’s introduction to the sport came about when she was invited to a birthday party at a roller skating rink as a seven-year-old. Her mum, she discovered, had a history with the world of roller skating and brought a set of skates to the party.
“Once I put a set of skates on my feet it just happened naturally,” Rachel says.
Some 13 years later, it is a central part of Rachel’s life. She looks forward to the rink at the end of a day at university. “I put my studies to the back of my mind and focus on my sport. Coming to the rink definitely does clear my mind. It’s my break, my chance to get away from my other life and I can put all my energy and frustration into this.”