Show of strength earns AIS invitation

TEGAN Bubb has never practised judo, yet she is off to the Australian Institute of Sport as part of a talent identification program for the martial art.

The 23-year-old Bendigo student heads to Canberra on Saturday for a five-day camp to assess her potential to become a future Commonwealth or Olympic champion.

She is one of 38 athletes selected from trials held Australia-wide to find young men and women with the physical and physiological attributes needed to succeed in the combat sports of boxing and judo. 

Bubb impressed AIS sports scientists with her strength, endurance, power and agility during the Bendigo trial.  

Athletes chosen from the AIS Sports Draft camp will enter a high-performance program, receiving 12 months of funded training with a world-class coach.

Bubb said she was really excited to have made it through the initial phase. 

"I appreciate this opportunity very much," she said.

"I'm going to try my best and push myself to the limit."

Originally from Geelong, Bubb has just completed her first year studying physical and outdoor education at La Trobe University.

While she has dabbled in rowing, tennis, running and even Brazilian jiu jitzu in the past, she has not played a lot of competitive sport.

Instead, she is a devotee of the CrossFit program, training six days a week at CrossFit Dauntless in East Bendigo under the guidance of Kim Stevens.

It was Stevens, her coach, who suggested she try out for the AIS program.

Bubb said she knew nothing about judo beforehand, but had recently researched the sport and liked what she saw.

"I've been looking up matches and watching how people move and what it's all about. It looks very exciting."

She has also visited the Bendigo academy run by Ben Donegan - who is the AIS-accredited judo coach she would work with if selected for the program - to gain a better understanding of what is involved. 

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