Melissa Burgoyne.

“After two shoulder reconstructions, I needed to change my choice of sport. It was devastating. But when one door closes, another door opens. It was then that I decided that bike riding was the sport for me as I had already been racing bikes as part of triathlons.”

Melissa Burgoyne is a secondary school teacher at Northern Bay College in Corio with an avid passion for cycling and sport. “I was born in Horsham and went to Horsham West Primary School until the start of secondary school. My family then moved to Ballarat for work where I then completed my secondary school and university in Ballarat, studying a Bachelor of Physical Education and Health in Teaching at Ballarat University.“

“I started training for swimming during secondary school and I developed many great friendships and had many successes competing at State and National level. I then became interested in triathlons and competed in many events. One of my races that stands out to me is when I came 3rd in Canberra, qualifying for the world championships.”

That is when Melissa had to overcome two shoulder reconstructions, forcing her to stop competing in triathlons and swimming. But that was not the end of her sporting career. “When one door closes, another door opens, and I didn’t want to focus on that closed door.” Melissa found cycling.

“I was, and still am, inspired by my 68 year old Dad who also rides bikes and races at world level for his age group and my grandpa who is 95 still goes twice a week to the gym this involves him having a personal trainer. They keep me motivated and have only ever encouraged me to do my best and whatever the result, they have always been so supportive and encouraging, along with the rest of my family. I couldn’t have achieved what I have without the support and encouragement of my family. I’m super lucky!”

Melissa’s driven passion for sports has led to competing in Noosa, Devonport, and other places around Australia. Her personal highlights include representing Australia in Cycling at the World Gran Fondo in Varese, Italy which consisted of 130km ride on a very undulating course that had over 2000m of climbing, also representing Australia at the World Triathlon Championships in Edmonton Canada which was an Olympic distance triathlon, featuring a 1.5-kilometre swim, 40km cycle and 10km run.

Melissa has been living in Geelong now for 8 years, and particularly likes the close proximity of numerous beaches and bike riding groups. During the week, Melissa is inspiring young learners. Outside of school, Melissa is out riding with her friends and family around and across the Greater Geelong region.

Story and Photo by Brandon Dellow: Melissa with her Dad, Lindsay