Tegan's made of tough stuff

LIFE as Tegan Bubb knows it has just changed, virtually overnight.

After five days of intense training at the Australian Institute of Sport - including a gruelling six-hour boot camp run by special force soldiers - the Bendigo student has been plucked from sporting obscurity and given a place in the nation's high-performance judo program.

For the next 12 months, she will work with internationally accredited local coach Ben Donegan and travel to the AIS every eight or so weeks for extra training.

Bubb, 23, was chosen for the fully funded program after catching the eye of talent scouts who scoured Australia for athletes with untapped potential to become Olympic and Commonwealth champions. They visited Bendigo in October.

She was among almost 40 invited to attend the Sports Draft camp in Canberra this week and one of just 12 to be offered a place in the scheme on Thursday.

"It was very physically and mentally demanding," Bubb said of the final selection process.

"We did judo drills every day, a lot of mat work, and then in the afternoon we would do games focused around our fitness and co-ordination.

"My body was so sore at the end of each day, but we had a good recovery process."

Perhaps the toughest element came on Tuesday, when athletes were woken at 2.30am for a character-building boot camp run by serving and former soldiers from the SAS.

They had to run carrying a concrete block on which they had written their candidate number (Tegan was number 12) alongside the Olympic ideals, perform push-up and planks and a range of other activities while the troops challenged their strength of body and character.

"They yelled at us, but I just ignored them," Tegan laughed.

"There were 20 people who started the boot camp and a lot of people dropped off throughout because they weren't able to handle it.

"There were only six of us left at the end and I was the only female."

Bubb studies physical and outdoor education at La Trobe University and works out at CrossFit Dauntless in East Bendigo.

She will continue to do both in 2014, in combination with her new AIS commitments.

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