GRAND BLANC — Ella Schell started gymnastics when she was only 18 months old.
Now going into her junior year at Goodrich High School, she has been training and competing for many years.
She was recently invited to the Team USA Gymnastics Olympics training camp in Dallas, Texas after competing at nationals.
“I scored above a 38 at nationals and they offered any girl who scored above a 38 the chance to join the camp on July 17-20,” said Ella.
She said she looks forward to practicing, improving and showing her skills at the camp.
“She had to qualify for regionals then qualify for nationals, so it was based on her performance at nationals is how that came about,” said her mother, Bethany Schell.
Ella trains at Olympia Gymnastics Academy in Shelby Township. With the family living in Grand Blanc, the daily commute takes effort from the entire family.
“She’s in the gym five days a week and we have a long commute from our house in Grand Blanc to Shelby Township,” said Bethany Schell. “It’s about a 45 minute drive each way. She would leave right from school at 2:30 p.m. and she would be training until 7:30 p.m. every night. Then her weekend hours are different. But we, her dad and I, are her chaperones, her chauffeurs, you name it. It’s a sacrifice on everyone’s part, but it’s a good one.”
Besides being invited to the training camp, Ella is also already beginning to receive attention from colleges as a junior in high school.
“As of Wednesday, I will be eligible to receive contact from colleges,” said Ella. “At this point I’ve just been emailing colleges and they can’t respond, but they can follow me on Instagram.”
Ella already has one college flying across the country to watch her train as soon as she is eligible.
“She’s eligible to begin receiving contact and offers from colleges as of June 15,” said Bethany Schell. “She knows already the very first day, her coach told her last week that the University of Minnesota is flying in to watch her practice on Thursday and they are ranked seventh in the country, so she has got a lot of reach-outs that she thinks even from the top 10 schools in the country.”
Ella said she enjoys gymnastics and says she looks forward to what else the future holds for her.
“I think qualifying for nationals three times has been one of my best accomplishments,” said Ella. “It’s a really fun experience and obviously now going to the training camp is pretty cool too.”