Roberts ready to bare it on world stage

MEGAN Roberts doesn’t come across as a world champion.Softly spoken and incredibly humble, the Nelligen girl has achieved more in her six years as a barefoot skier than most athletes do in their entire career.So when she heads to Texas in August to defend her open women’s trick world title, she is keen for her feet to do the talking.“I’m excited now, but I’ll be nervous when it gets closer,” Roberts said.“I’m the current open women’s trick world champion, so I guess I do feel a bit of pressure.”With the short winter days and the warm waters of summer a distant memory, Roberts’ opportunities to train on the Clyde River have been limited.So, by her own admission, Roberts’ preparations for the Barefoot World Championships have been less than ideal.“I probably haven’t done as much training as I would’ve liked,” she said.“So because of that I’m a bit unsure (of how I’ll go). Ideally, I should be skiing three or four times a week.”However, the 17-year-old Bay High student braved the shivery conditions last weekend when she went for a training session on the Clyde – an experience she described as “freezing”.“With daylight saving, it’s a bit hard to train down here but we went out last weekend locally and it was absolutely freezing,” she said with a laugh.“So I’m looking forward to the warmer waters.”Roberts won’t have to wait too long to warm up as she is off to Queensland on Sunday for three weeks to train with her coach Gizella “Gizie” Halasz.The world titles don’t get underway until August 27, but Roberts will be heading to the United States three weeks earlier to train in California, where she hopes to “do some other things as well” and even see “a few celebrities”.“I’ll be in Sacramento training for two weeks before I go to Texas so I’ve been googling stuff to look at while I’m there,” she said.But once she gets to the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas, it will be straight down to business.New Zealander Georgia Groen is likely to be her “main competition” over the three disciplines (slalom, jump and tricks) but Roberts knows where her strengths lie and she hopes to make the most of them.“I’m better at tricks because I’ve worked at it more than the other (disciplines),” she said.“But it all just depends on how you ski on the day.”Flying to the US isn’t cheap for a 17-year-old and to help lighten the financial burden, family friend Kelly Hadlow has been doing her bit to help raise money – something Roberts is extremely grateful for.“It’s an expensive trip so I really appreciate it,” she said.“But I should also thank my mum and dad (Denise and Paul) for all of their support.”The barefoot world titles run from August 27 to September 2.Follow @Dean_Benson14NoneThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.