4Uth 2016 winners
Rushcliffe winner: Ella Rose Greatorex
Ella is 12 and lives in East Leake. She was nominated for the 4Uth awards by swimming instructor Christopher Fox, who is a member of the county council’s schools’ swimming service.
Ella was nominated because of the impressive progress she has made in swimming whilst overcoming barriers presented through disability.
Ella has Celebral Palsy, a neurological disorder which affects body movement and muscle co-ordination. Despite this, she started swimming at a young age with swimming lessons from Christopher and fellow instructor Ben Neath.
These sessions were initially about being safe around water but soon became something where Ella felt a sense of freedom and could do without help. This new found independence spurred her on to be the determined individual she is today, even outside of swimming.
Christopher explains: “Ella is an incredibly enthusiastic, bright and gifted individual with a passion for swimming. Her warm personality makes her a pleasure to teach. Her determination has allowed her to develop her swimming skills tremendously.
“Whenever we see Ella at the centre she always has a welcoming smile. Ella is a very independent young person who throws herself into every opportunity that is opened up for her. She regularly attends a number of public swimming sessions with her many friends and family.”
In March, Ella took part in a swimathon for Sport Relief, swimming a mile (64 lengths) and cycling a mile, raising money through sponsorship. She represented an East Midlands disability team at an English Schools Swimming gala at Ponds Forge in Sheffield and swam backstroke in the 4 x 25m relay. She has also competed in several swimming development gala's both regional and national organised through Cerebral Palsy Sport, based in Nottingham.
Ella lives at home with mum Emma, dad John, brother James, seven and sister Zara, five. She has physio every morning and evening to help with mobility, strength and flexibility. She then fits in school, homework and any afterschool clubs. She also does horseriding for Riding for the Disabled in Keyworth, and is a pupil at East Leake Academy.
Christopher concludes: “There are many reasons I think Ella is deserving of this award. These include the big smile she always wears no matter what she is doing. Even if she is swimming flat out she will finish and still be smiling, which says a lot about how much she enjoys the sport.
“She will always offer encouragement to others within the group which is always good to see, and always listens and takes on board tips or corrections we try to make to her strokes. Her big dream is to swim at the Paralympic games one day and I think she will achieve this through the determination she shows in the swimming pool and in her day to day life.”