Ella's exciting aquatics future
UP-AND-COMING Western Aquatics swimmer Ella Ramsay has plenty of support behind her as she prepares for her first Queensland representative trip this weekend.
Her father and club head coach Heath was an Olympic swimmer who represented Australia at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Like Heath, Ella is excelling in butterfly, also being competent in all strokes as Heath was during his many successful carnivals swimming in Ipswich and at state titles.
However, Ella heads to Adelaide for her first Pacific School Games competition with more than Heath and wife Bek cheering her on.
Ella, 11, has also been training twice a week with Australian team coach Michael Bohl at St Peters Western Swim Club at Indooroopilly.
"Over the last 18 months we've been taking Ella down there,'' Heath said, giving her future opportunities to develop.
"Realistically I won't coach Ella forever.
"It's just so she gets a break from dad because not many swimmers have that dynamics going on.''
Ella was selected in the Queensland primary school team to compete at the Pacific School Games after winning her butterfly event at the state titles.
Ella also set 11 years girls records in the 50m freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke at the Ipswich District carnival in March.
The West Moreton Anglican College year 5 student has since been training hard guided by two respected coaches.
At the Pacific School Games, Ella will swim in the 11 years 50m butterfly and contest the butterfly leg in the 200m medley relay.
"This is her first major comp, her first state team, and she's quite excited to go down there and see what she can come up with,'' Heath said.
"She just loves it.''
Heath and Bek are also encouraging Ella to enjoy other sports like netball, basketball and touch football while pursuing her higher level swimming.
"We're trying to prolong her being young and enjoying it before she has to knuckle down and do it seriously,'' the former Olympic competitor said.
Ella is one of a promising group of Western Aquatics swimmers who have qualified for state and national championships.
Other competitors preparing for next month's state titles are Gracie Albion, Georgia Heapy, Lilli Albion, Hannah Wheelhouse, Jillian McFarlane, Madeleine Barroqueiro and Mikaela Gallaher.
The Western Aquatics club, based at Westmac pool, will also have over 60 swimmers aged 9-15 competing in the state relays on the first day of the annual Queensland championships.
"This is a great team focused day where we have all levels of swimmers who are competing,'' Heath said.
Lilli and Madeleine have also qualified for the Australian age championships in April. Lilli's main event is the 50m freestyle in 13 years with Madeleine qualifying in the 14 years 200m butterfly.
"Our Western Aquatics swimmers have been competing outstandingly over the last few months at numerous swim meet across South East Queensland,'' the head coach said.
"Success at these meets has been great to see with a large percentage of swims resulting in personal best times.
"I've been really pleased how they are progressing, doing hard work.
"When they freshen up for states, anything is possible.''