Why Ella is enjoying international success
MEDAL-winning Ipswich dynamo Ella Ramsay is thriving being in two supportive swimming environments.
She's working with her father Heath, a Sydney 2000 Olympian, and respected Indooroopilly coach Stewart Melton.
Regular sessions with Western Aquatics head coach Heath and St Peters Western mentor Melton has helped Ella take her success to international level.
Ella collected three gold, three silver and two bronze medals representing St Peters at the recent New Zealand Short Course Championships in Auckland.
Over the five-day meet, the West Moreton Anglican College Year 7 student set personal bests in eight of her 10 races.
Ella's impressive effort at her first international meet came after a similar series of personal best efforts at the Queensland Short Course Championships in August.
Ella won two gold and four silver medals from the 50m freestyle to the 200m medley at those titles.
As a dad and coach, Heath appreciates the assistance Ella is also receiving at St Peters under the watchful eye of Melton.
"Stewart and I have a pretty good relationship,'' Heath said.
"It's working across the board.
"We actually communicate on the style of sessions we do so we are not doubling up on things.''
Ella does four sessions a week with each coach at the WestMAC pool and Indooroopilly.
Aged 13, Ella is one of Ipswich's most exciting swimming prospects.
But while proud of Ella's achievements, Heath is mindful of ensuring she enjoys a balanced approach at school and in sport.
"It's keeping her young as long as possible pretty much without getting into the full swing of swimming too early so she doesn't get burnt out,'' Heath said.
Melton agreed. "We want the younger kids to be able to do other sports as well,'' he said.
"In general, we (St Peters) have a big shutdown after age nationals for six weeks to encourage the kids to play soccer and netball for the girls, and stuff like that.
"And it's not really until they move up into the intermediate program that we start to focus a bit more on swimming as their main sport.''
For Ella, that winter variety comes through enjoying touch football and netball at WestMAC.
Former Australian butterflier Heath is keen for his daughter to transition full-time to St Peters Western Swim Club in the future, after she started at Western Aquatics.
He is happy with Ella's progress.
"It just goes from strength to strength,'' he said. "You just let her go. She's improved year to year.
"Only two years ago, she was only doing four or five sessions so that's slowly progressing up.
"She's always been a fantastic racer, so if she swims well in her heat, nine times out of 10, she'll jump up and swim really well at finals at night time.
"That's a good trait she's always had.''
Ella Ramsay's medal haul at the New Zealand Short Course Championships in Auckland (October 3-7).
Gold: 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m medley.
Silver: 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 50m backstroke.
Bronze: 200m medley and 400m medley.