Melanie, who has joined local club Cycling Southland, has hung up her Great Britain Trisuit and is now aiming to earn her New Zealand stripes in both triathlon and track cycling.
‘There just aren’t the opportunities in England, like there is here with regards to access to a velodrome. They are in such high demand in the UK that unless you are part of the elite team in British Cycling, you don’t stand a chance of getting onto a track.’
‘I’m so excited to have such great opportunities here in New Zealand. I am going to purchase a track bike, and aim to train to get onto the team for the National Track cycling championships next year.’
‘Triathlon New Zealand say that I can also qualify and compete for the national team in triathlon too, so my aim for next year is to earn the silver fern suit and be able to compete in the World championships team’
To help Melanie achieve her goal, she already has the support of Specsavers Invercargill, who will be providing her with glasses and contact lenses for the year ahead.
‘I am so grateful to have the support of Specsavers. It’s an expensive business competing at World level, so it really does help.’
Until 2009, Melanie was overweight and unfit. A lifestyle transformation and weight loss of 4.5 stone in 2005 enabled her to take up triathlon and qualify for team GB, where she has regularly competed at European and World level until her move to New Zealand this year.