Ellie is a five-time Paralympic champion in swimming. She came to national attention when she competed at Beijing in 2008 winning two gold medals for Team GB, despite being the youngest member of the team at the age of 13. Ellie continues to compete at international level with the World Para Swimming Championships this September and the aim to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Please describe your journey as a talented student athlete

“I was a beneficiary of a ‘TASS 2012 Award’ designed to support athletes who were targeting London 2012. At the time, I was relocating to a high performance centre and it meant I could do this without putting my family under financial pressure. It helped me tremendously in the bid to qualify for the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.

“Receiving the TASS award was perfect for me as I was only young and receiving very little financial help, but on the brink of the big step forward to international level. Combining education and training was a difficult balance, but one that’s very important. Athletes’ lives are short, intense and very focused and you need to be prepared and ready to move into the wider world beyond when you retire.

“TASS support came at a key time for me that allowed me to focus my efforts on my sport while continuing with full time education, which I’m sure will serve me well as I come towards the end of my career.

“I am most proud of getting to highest level my sport and repaying all the belief from those like TASS that helped and supported me along the road. Achieving this with like-minded people both in education and sport has kept the right balance in my life.”

What would be your wish for the next generation of talented athletes?

“I hope the next generation will have support available to them to enable them to continue their journey towards their own goals whatever they may be.”

Use one word to describe what TASS means to you.