Self-isolation is proving to be the least of Gronya Somerville’s worries, thanks to her Sports Science knowledge.
Australia’s emphasis on social distancing in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure of gyms and indoor sports centres, causing athletes to rethink their training plans.
Somerville, however, is coping just fine.
“I got my hands on equipment and workout gear to set up a home gym,” she told Badminton Oceania.
“I plan to bring my Sports Science Degree skills out during this time to construct a weekly training regime that can replicate my usual programme.
“I want to maintain my fitness and improve some areas I had neglected.”
The ambitious 24-year-old enjoys setting herself goals although she admits the uncertainty of the current global situation can be daunting at times.
Nonetheless, Somerville is eager to make the best of this period.
“I love a challenge and this will be one of the toughest ones yet,” she reveals.
“I’m hoping to make the most of the time with my family, help fix up our house, get my life admin in order, work on my personal brand and do my best to continue supporting my community and those around me. I wish everyone safety and healing during this tough time.”
It was not until mixed doubles partner Simon Leung brought up the topic at the end of January that Somerville learnt of COVID-19.
While competing at the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters 2020 in January, Leung alerted Somerville about the unfolding events in China, encouraging her to wear a mask in Bangkok.
“Little did I know it would be my last international tournament for a very long time,” she admits.
Just two weeks later, Somerville reigned supreme at the VICTOR Oceania Championships. She took home three gold medals (women’s doubles, mixed doubles and women’s team) and followed that up with two titles at the Australian National Championships.
During the tournament, word began spreading about the escalating COVID-19 situation around the world, met by more unfortunate news that some of Somerville’s planned tournaments got cancelled.
On the morning of her flight to Lisbon, she found out about the cancellation of the Portugal International Championships 2020. Six more (four in Europe and two in Asia) followed.
The International Olympic Committee has since announced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to next year.
Somerville and partner Setyana Mapasa are currently at No.26 in the women’s doubles world rankings.
** Article first published on Badminton Oceania website by Tom Leonard.