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Newspaper Article

Source: Evening Chronicle

Date: July 9, 1998


If there is one Spice Girl who actually does live up to her title it has to be Sporty. Ginger - now an ex-spice, of course - is more blonde these days, Posh isn't that hoity-toity, Scary is simply loud, and Baby is getting just a tad too old to be called that.

But good old Sporty really is of the athletic variety - and she would love to be on Tyneside on July 19 for the Bupa Grand Prix at Gateshead Stadium. Unfortunately, there's the little problem of the Spices' mammoth 40-date US tour getting in the way.

"I'd love to go to the Grand Prix", says Sporty, aka Mel C. "But I'll be in America, as we play Cincinnati on July 20. I can't wait to get back to the UK at the end of August, though, and I look forward to seeing lots of our Geordie fans in September at the stadium gigs at Sheffield and Wembley."

"It's been difficult following the athletics while I'm in America, but I've heard of the British successes in St.Petersburg recently in the European Cup. We seem to be doing so well and I can't wait for the Commonwealth Games soon in Malaysia."

Mel has been interested in sports since she was a little girl. "I absolutely loved athletics at school", she says. "My events were 200m, 100m hurdles and the high jump. I won numerous races. I even broke the school high jump record and I beat all the boys. They were all so jealous, especially when I was picked for the country trials representing Cheshire."

"I would have liked to have been a 100m sprinter, as Linford Christie is my favorite athlete. I remember him winning when I was younger and I used to get very excited whenever we won a medal."

And in spite of her hectic touring and promotion schedules, Mel still finds time to keep in shape. "I try to get to the gym a few times a week", she says. "And I make sure that the hotels we stay in on tour have gyms in them. At the moment, performing for two hours on stage every night keeps us fit."

"I've lost count of all the trainers and tracksuits I have. I've a cupboard at home where I keep them and they're in a huge, messy pile. When I was cleaning my flat before we went on tour, I put all my sportswear together and I have tracksuits and trainers in every color and by every sports company in the world I think."

"If I have any advice for budding Sporty Spices it would be that dedication with any sport is so important. Any exercise is good for you, and athletics is a fun way to keep fit."

Spice fever is sweeping America at the moment, with the group notching up another number one - this time on the video front, as Spiceworld: The Movie blasts into the charts in pole position. "When we heard, we started jumping around the room", says Mel. "It was a dream come true to make Spiceworld: The Movie and the amazing video sales have proved that it was worth getting up at 5am every morning to film it."