Destined to Soar: An Interview with Summer Marange, Athletics Champion
Destined to SOAR.
This interview series is aimed at celebrating, recognising and promoting the incredible talent and ferocious courage of our young women of tomorrow.
Let's recognise the magnificent effort of girls' in sport across all codes!
Today our interview is with youth sensation Summer. Soar Active had the privilege to catch up with Summer and chat about her love for all things Athletics and the U14 Women’s VIC Country Champion in Hammer, High Jump, Triple Jump & Shot Put.
1. Summer, tell us about your early life?
Summer: I grew up in Geelong and still live here but every year since I was two, I’ve travelled with my family to Zimbabwe because that’s where my dad’s from. We even lived there for a year in 2016 and I attended my first year of Primary School over there.
I have done dancing since I was two and I’ve always loved it! I still do dancing now, I’ve just swapped from recreational dance to now doing competition Cheer, Hip-Hop and Pom. I love the performing, the teammates, the music, the costumes, its so much fun!
2. So how did you discover Athletics?
Summer: When I was in Grade 5 and did fitness testing in PE at school, my standing jump was really long, so my PE teacher suggested to my parents that athletics might be worth looking into for me and introduced me to a coach. From there I started training a couple of times a week over winter and then joined Little Athletics when the 2021/2022 season started. I feel I started Little Athletics later than majority of kids as most kids had started around 7-8 years old, I started when I was 11yo. But I just loved it straight away, striving for P.B’s, meeting new friends and as much as I love team sports, I really love that athletics is all on you. Its up to you how good you are on the day, nobody else.
3. What was your next step?
Summer: Once I realised how much I loved athletics I wanted to get better and push myself, so my parents found coaches in my favourite events – all the field events. I have a coach for high jump, another coach for long/triple jump and yet another coach for throws (shot put, discus and hammer) and I love going to training. The training squads are all so encouraging of each other and its nice to see all the friendly faces around the track at competition days.
After doing some training I could see the amazing difference that training and learning proper techniques had on my performance, so I keep striving. This season is only my 2nd season for Little Athletics and is my 1st season for Senior Athletics. That means twice the competition days and twice the opportunity to improve on my PB’s.
4. How do you balance your competitive training and managing school?
Summer: During Summer terms I have four hours of cheer, two hours of dance and at least ten hours of athletics per week and that’s not including school sports. Since I have so much training, I normally squeeze homework in between training session. But in the winter session there is no athletics so I focus more on school then but cheer/dance comps start then so I guess I’m always juggling my time.
5. What do you do in your downtime?
Summer: Swim in the pool really helps me relax, and I enjoy chilling on the couch and watching DANCE MOMS. I also facetime my friends since we are all at different high schools and I want to keep in touch.
7. What makes you feel happy, brave, and strong?
Summer: Getting a PB (personal best) even when I don’t medal because it shows that I’m improving, especially when I haven’t achieved a PB in awhile.
8. Tell us about a special moment in the last year?
Summer: Competing at the VIC Country Championships in January was an absolute blast. I had never won that many medals at one time before - 6 medals from 6 events. Everyone I was competing against were very friendly and fun to hang out with, which was good because I was down at the track for 3 days. It was such a great experience.
I competed in Hammer, Shot Put, Discus, High Jump, Long Jump and Triple Jump. It was a very hot weekend and my body was definitely pushed to its limits, but I came away as the U14 VIC Country Champion in 4 out of my 6 events. Super proud of myself and thankful to my parents and coaches for helping me achieve this success.
9. What is your ultimate goal?
Summer: Competing in the Youth Commonwealth Games and the Youth Olympics, I would also love to be of the few people to compete in multiple Summer Olympics events/sports. I really enjoy watching the World Champs, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics because of all the talented, aspiring athletes, I would love to be just like them. I’m definitely aiming to compete in an international sporting event in the future.
10. What's your favourite attribute about yourself?
Summer: I always bring positivity and good sportsmanship when I’m competing, and I have already made lots of friends just through athletics. I’m also proud of how determined and persistent I am, once I start something I have to finish it.
11. Favourite song on repeat right now?
Summer: Any and all songs by Rihanna.
12. What has Athletics taught you about life?
Summer: That you don’t need to rush things and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get it on the first try. It takes lots of time, dedication, practice and patience. But also don’t take it too seriously all the time, make sure you’re having fun and enjoying the process.
I practice and train a lot and there’s still so much to learn to get better. My coaches are always finding ways for me to improve and I’m so excited to keep striving for PB’s.
13. What would you say to other young females about following their dreams?
Summer: Never give up and keep going because you can do anything you put your mind to!