Interview with Alexandra Teixeira, UniRoo competitor
Meet Alexia, she is one of our incredible online students and is smashing out goals all over the place!
You could say Alexia lives a double life – she is currently studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science remotely, in Wellington Point, but is also an outstanding athlete who is aiming for 2020 Tokyo Olympics, what can we say… watch this space!
Fun facts about Alexia
- At the age of four, she started dancing
- When she turned seven she started rhythmic gymnastics
- At the age of fifteen, she took up full-time ballet training that got her all the way to the United States to train at two different ballet schools.
- And at the age of twenty-two, she was selected to compete for the UniRoos #impressive
Her most recent of these outstanding achievements is being selected as one of five from the Premiere Gymnastics Academy team for Queensland and will be competing in the Rhythmic Gymnastics Group division for the World UniGames Summer Universiade.
The Summer Universiade is an amazing opportunity to showcase the talents of student-athletes from all around the globe and is a really impressive feat! These games are held every two years and are being held in Naples Italy this July.
To find out more about her amazing accomplishments we sent off a few questions to Alexia to learn about her experiences as a student-athlete and her training for the up and coming world games.
You are currently living at Wellington Point, Brisbane; how long have you lived there and what is your favourite thing about where you live?
I have lived in Wellington Point for fifteen years. It is such a beautiful area and only 5 minutes from the beach. My neighbours are so friendly; we often have street barbeques, I honestly could not have asked for a better place to live.
It’s so convenient that you are able to study with UNE while being a whole other state away! What degree are you currently doing?
I have just started studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science.
So many students at UNE choose to study online, what do you enjoy the most about your degree and studying online with UNE?
I am learning something new every day with my degree and am really enjoying it. Studying online is so convenient for me because I am constantly traveling overseas for competitions; all I need to do is take my computer and a few books. My uni can come with me literally anywhere.
One of the hardest questions for a university student is “what job do you want from your degree?”- so let’s rephrase that… What would you like to see yourself doing in the next five years?
I would love to eventually transfer into Physiotherapy. I have some wonderful Physiotherapists who help me manage and recover from injury; I would really love to give back to the gymnastics community and help up and coming gymnasts in the future.
There is no doubt that gymnastics is a huge passion for you and you must be so proud to represent the UniRoos, can you tell us a little about how much this opportunity means to you?
Sure is! I am so excited about representing the UniRoos and is an opportunity of a lifetime! Being able to say I am representing the UniRoos and competing at World Universiade is an amazing achievement that not many people can say they have done.
With all your sporting and working commitments, how do you manage these with your study load? Have you got any tips or tricks we can pass on to other students in your position?
I’ll be honest, it is very difficult to juggle work, study, and training. Being my first year at university, time management has proven to be quite a challenge, however, planning ahead with my days and setting aside time each day to study has helped a lot.
Your involvement in ballet has seen you travel overseas to the United States at the Houston Ballet Academy in Texas and the Miami City Ballet school in Florida (so cool!). What were your experiences like overseas at these schools and what did they teach you?
Training at these schools was a dream come true. First of all, living by myself, in a different country, at the age of 18 was a huge eye-opener. I learned some valuable life skills and I am so grateful of my mum trusting me and helping me every step of the way.
The training overseas was quite tough because you are in a class of over twenty talented students and each girl is trying to be better than the next. I learned some amazing techniques that I had never learned back home in Australia. Overall it was a life changing experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
We are so excited about your selection in the Rhythmic Gymnastics division from July 11th – 15th in Naples at Palavesuvio Hall! Being 1 of the 5 athletes from Premiere Gymnastics Academy in Queensland, can you tell me about the division you are competing?
Rhythmic Gymnastics can be performed individually or in a group of 5 gymnasts and I will be competing in a group. ‘Group’ is 5 girls on the mat, each with an apparatus, and you exchange and collaborate with the apparatus. This cycle one routine is performed with 5 balls and the second routine is performed with 3 hoops and 2 pairs of clubs.
What is your current training program and how have you prepared for the games?
I train 30 hours a week. My training schedule consists of 2 hours of warm-up/conditioning and 3 hours of practicing my routines.
The Summer Universiade comes in second after the Olympics in a number of participants and countries attending, and is a stepping stone for student-athletes to the actual Olympics – that’s pretty impressive! What does this sort of opportunity mean to you – can we assume Tokyo2020 as a future aspiration for you?
The ultimate goal for my team is to make Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Being selected for Would Universiade is already a massive achievement for my team being the first Australian group to attend. If we make Tokyo 2020, my group will also be the first ever-Australian group to ever compete at the Olympics!
That is so exciting Alexia! Its huge news for a student-athlete to be given an opportunity like the World UniGames. How did you feel when you first found out you were going to Italy to compete?
Absolutely over the moon, my team and I were so excited when we found out. I couldn’t be any more proud!
I couldn’t imagine what sort of nerves you must feel before a competition! What techniques do you have to control these nerves and get yourself focused?
I always blast my music and have a dance around when I am getting ready for the competition just to calm my nerves; however, as soon as I enter the arena I get very serious as I’m sure every athlete does. Before I go on the mat to compete I always cover my head with my towel and I say a few positive words to myself.
You have a lot of traveling ahead, how do you like to prepare for large overhaul flights?
I try to get as much rest as I can the day before because I do not sleep well on flights. I always take my neck pillow to make the flight a bit more comfortable and I drink plenty of water because I get quite dehydrated.
Lastly, we have to mention Italy! Especially that you are visiting during summer (so jealous), are you able to have any time off to site see? And what are you looking forward to seeing/experiencing in Naples?
I think we get a day or two for exploring. I am very excited to see some beautiful historical buildings and hopefully spend some time at the beach.
We wish Alexia the very best in her training and safe travels to Italy! We are not only proud to see a UNE student compete in a world event like this, but so excited to see the heights student-athletes can reach.
The Summer Universiade is an amazing opportunity for student-athletes who aspire towards the next Olympics and Alexia and her team has a GoFundMe page if you would like to help them reach Tokyo2020.
Check out our last blog giving a little background to the event and a bit more on who Alexia is traveling with here