A Maltese primary school teacher has won bronze at the international bodybuilding championships.

Leanne Bartolo, 30, came third out of an amazing line up of more than 40 competitors from around the world at the event in California.

She said: ‘I hope to be an inspiration to everyone to challenge your boundaries and take chances in life.

‘Amazing things really do happen outside your comfort zone.’

Earlier this year, she won the European Championships of the World Fitness Federation in Berlin.

Leeanne, from Maghtab, is also the co-owner of DanceDivas and runs her very own Warehouse Fitness Studio in Gżira.

1. Leanne, you represented Malta at the world championships – you must feel so proud?

‘I feel honoured to represent our country and Europe at the World Championships.

‘I not only don’t do this for a living, but I have multiple roles to keep up with to be able to make this experience possible.

‘As hard as it may be, I love setting short term goals and achieving them.’

2. How did you get into body building in the first place?

‘Initially, I was tricked into it by a friend not fully understanding what I was getting myself into it.

‘She clearly saw something which I didn’t and evidently, she was right.

‘To my surprise, I won the Maltese national championships in October 2017 and haven’t looked back since representing Malta and now also Europe on the international PRO stage.’

3. You’re also the WFF European Bikini Champion – how much work did it take to get there?

‘It takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice and support.

‘Hard work by training multiple times a day, starting my day at 5am and not getting home before the late evening.

‘It involves sacrifice by following a strict nutritional plan whereby my meals are planned to the gram and I must stick to it no matter the occasion or excuse.

‘The support of my family and friends without which I wouldn’t be able to remain strong, positive and focused.’

4. What’s your advice to other young women for success in life?

‘I would advise them not to be their own limitation, not to refrain from doing something they want just because they think they’re not good enough.

‘Just go for it! A step at a time, everything is possible.

‘Another important thing to remember is that as long as you’re blessed with the gift of health, it’s never too late to make your dreams come true.’

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