This past semester you could find Melanie Garate, 19, in a classroom pursuing an associate’s degree in sports management before she gained acceptance into Brooklyn College where she will be working toward a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science. Melanie has strived to be a competitor on and off the wallball courts with the tenacity to succeed in all aspects of her life.
Melanie comes from a family who bonds and competes on the court. Watching her mother play from the sidelines at a young age, Melanie grew up idolizing her mother’s competitive demeanour, “she raised amazing kids and still plays at her age,” Melanie says, “she’s an amazing person in general and has taught me so much in my life.”
At the age of 11, Melanie decided to pick up a handball, stepping away from the sidelines and onto the courts where she would soon become a recognized player in her home borough of Brooklyn.
Growing up in a competitive wallball environment, there’s one other competitor Melanie always counted on when she needed her the most, her twin sister, Jessenia Garate.
On May 20th in the “It’s A Bee Thang” tournament, Melanie won both a singles match and doubles match which she played alongside her sister, “winning a tournament with my sister is always a proud moment for me, when we work together as a team it makes me happy.”
With her achievements on and off the court Melanie continues to look forward as she aspires to become a coach, teaching the next generation of athletes how to adopt her competitive ways,“I’m striving to become the best, it’s a goal I made for myself and there’s always something I could improve on.”