The Belmont Swordfish Fencing Club member is one of 13 WA fencers who will compete in three Olympic disciplines against some of the sport’s top Australian athletes in the under-15 and -17 age groups.
Melissa comes from a ‘family of fencers’ with everyone except her dad wielding the sword.
‘At first, my brother loved fencing as a little kid and I wanted to try it with him,’ Melissa said.
‘My mum tried it out, which gave me the motivation to do it.’
Alongside her squad mates, Melissa has trained up to 20 hours per week over the past six months in preparation for the national event.
WA Fencing Association Ben Peden said he had high hopes for the state squad, which currently boasts the number one ranked competitors in the men’s open epee and sabre categories.