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Gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University dies after falling during training



Ken Switon, a spokesman for Southern Connecticut, confirmed to CNN on Monday that Coleman fell during what he described as a "routine exercise" on uneven bars.

"At that time, our thoughts and prayers were with the Melanie Family," University Athletic Director Jay Moran said Monday. "It was devastating for her coaches and teammates and we hope to support them at this very difficult time."

Toma Alberti, Coleman's longtime personal trainer, called the incident a "complete incident" on Monday. "It's not something anyone can process."

In addition to receiving his nursing degree, Coleman also teaches part-time at the Alberti Gym, New Era Gymnastics.

"I was her full-time trainer for 1

0 years," Alberti said. "She has always been a leader in my gym. She was the leader everyone strived for."

Alberti said that Coleman he teaches gymnastics at all levels of students, from 2-year-olds to 15-year-olds. He described her as a dedicated, pure love of sports. "She wanted to help everyone around her."

. Her mother competed, as did her two older sisters.

"It was not a matter of her trying to achieve a

"What made her a great gymnast is what made her a great personality," Alberti added. He said Coleman modeled "the love of everything you dream of doing , and giving that back to the people around you. "

Jerry Nelson, a recently retired former gymnastics coach in Southern Connecticut, also praised Nelson's commitment to others.

" Melanie was an extremely young lady who positively touched this new, "Nelson said in a statement. "Melanie was a real player on the team, hardworking and a real pleasure to coach. I'm extremely grateful that I was able to coach her."

In a statement Monday, the university directed the public to a GoFundMe page created over the weekend to raise money for Coleman's family. The website raised over $ 45,000 from nearly 1,000 donors as of Monday evening.

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