When Ella Jones swims she feels equal.
“When I dive in that water I feel that I’m on a level playing field to everyone else,” said the Springwood Swimming Club teen who has cerebral palsy, a physical disability that affects movement and posture.
Coached by Nick Robinson, the 17-year-old only began seriously swimming a year ago, and she already has five state swimming records under her belt.
Later this month she’ll compete at a national level when she contests the Australian Short Course Swimming Championships in Adelaide, competing in the multi-class S10 category for swimmers with leg or hip-related disabilities.
The Emu Plains swimmer will race the 400m, 100m and 50m freestyle events, the 100m backstroke and 50m butterfly.
“All the training is coming together now. I've put in the work. Hopefully when I reach the wall I have a PB,” Jones said.
Training eight times a week in the pool, plus two gym sessions a week, it’s been an intense year for the teen whose end goal is the Paralympics. “When we do speed work there are days where I vomit and I don’t know why I’m doing this. But then I get a PB and I go ‘this is why I do that,’” Jones said.
She’s also working hard on her final two years of schooling through Tafe via correspondence. Jones hopes to attend university to train as a human rights lawyer.
Faulconbridge swimmer and Paralympian Jenna Jones will also compete in Adelaide in the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle, 50m and 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley. She now trains in Homebush with Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre head coach Job van Duijnhoven.