We are very proud to have this remarkable young sharp shooter as our latest ambassador, and her journey is nothing short of inspiring.
We had the privilege of chatting with Ellie to learn more about her career and, of course, her love for Gumbies.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started?
I'm a 25 year old athlete aspiring to be the best in my sport of clay shooting. I represented England at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and currently compete at World Cups and International Championships representing Great Britain.
This year I shot the Womens British Record of 120/125, along with medals at international Grand Prix's in Spain and Portugal and I have continued my reign as the Ladies UK Champion!
I started my journey around 10 years ago, and it is all thanks to my dad. He is the one who first introduced me to this niche, yet exciting, sport. It began as a few local Sunday competitions and being invited to a have a go session where I was spotted by a coach and it all grew from there!
It's fair to say that I've been hooked ever since continuing to develop further in my sport alongside completing a degree. As a self funded athlete, I now work when I can between training camps and competitions to be able to fund myself to fulfil my dream.
What do you have planned next?
At the end of this month I have the European Championships which are being held in Osijek, Croatia representing Great Britain in both the individual, team and mixed team events. I've worked hard to get myself selected for this event and I'm currently training in preparation for this big event.
This is the last competition of what has been a very busy and long season, which for me started back in January! So I'm also planning in some rest time, a holiday with my family which will have a mixture of relaxing by the pool and exploring the beaches! Of course, for these adventures I'll have to pack the essentials, Gumbies and plenty of suncream.... for the red head that I am!
Any special projects, events or initiatives you're excited about?
Off the back of the Women's Football World Cup and the success of our Lioness'. I'm very excited about the direction that women's sport is taking. We've had strong female teams and athletes for years across all sports. But it is the recognition, coverage and appreciation that female sports are now beginning to achieve. There's still further progress to be made, something which the Women's Sports Trust, as well as other organisations are striving to achieve. It's not just about celebrating and giving credit where it's due, but creating new role models for generations to come, and to inspire a population. Success can be contagious, and being able to see it shows you that it is possible.
Another initiative that has taken place this year was conducted by Team GB and Paralympic GB's official supermarket Aldi. In a partnership the two launched a campaign to keep kids active over the summer, named the 'Get a Taste for Sport' initiative. The idea sought to give children across the country a chance to try an Olympic or Paralympic sport for free with a voucher for a taster session. The voucher's would be offered to every shopper spending £30 or more in an Aldi store. Initiatives like these help children of all backgrounds and circumstances to take part in physical activity and sport. Giving them the chance to have a go and get started, makes them far more likely to continue a healthy, active and adventurous lifestyle.
How does your lifestyle align with Gumbies core values? Our brand embodies simplicity, necessity, and most importantly, the essence of freedom. Can you describe a situation where these qualities were particularly beneficial to you?
When I'm competing or training across the UK through every month of the year, I travel and stay in our off grid camper. There are many different reasons behind this. The first is that it reduces my travel once I've arrived at the venue, once I'm there and set up (all of the venue owners are very accommodating with parking up on their land). I don't then have to drive to and from hotels and shooting ranges! Doing this helps to reduce fuel usage, accommodation coast and not having to eat out every night being able to make my own dinner.
I love it as it is such a simpler, more free and enjoyable lifestyle, and when I'm more relaxed, it's more beneficial to my performance, especially at competitions.... having my own space to chill out if needed is a must!
Due to the nature of my sport, the venues are often situated further from standard civilisation. So when everyone has gone home for the day it's great being able to sit out in the last of the sun (or more likely under the awning keeping the rain at bay) and taking in the different wildlife and aspects of nature that different areas of our country have to offer. From watching red kites in the hilly landscapes of Mid Wales, pine trees and owls in Yorkshire, curlew amongst the rough grassland of North Wales and Hares in Hertfordshire.
Can you share an instance where Gumbies contributed to a memorable experience or adventure in your life?
Well, my Gumbies tend to go everywhere with me, so they're always part of my adventures! Be it on chilly nights in the camper where I need to pop my slippers on, or my slingbacks on lovely sunny evenings!
For my sport we're often stood for long periods of time, in open and intense sunshine with closed top shoes. It's such a relief in between competition rounds that I can take those shoes off and slip on islanders and cool off in my downtime to prepare for my next round.... and all in style too!
So, my Gumbies both help to contribute to my athletic endeavours as well as my everyday life & adventures.
What would you like to see from Gumbies next, go on, go all out, although bare in mind we are not ready to design space rockets just yet ;) ?
I am a very, very indecisive person and so this one was possibly the hardest question for me to answer!
Lets kick it off with the return of the slider! Plain colours, but also funky and out there designs, like the ones for the sling backs. Actually, how about custom Gumbies! Where you can design your own pair, choosing the colours or patterns of the different elements/material parts? People can express themselves and show their character through their flipflops, sliders or sandals.
I also love the idea of an all terrain closed shoes/trainer. Something that's durable, breathable, quick drying and of course comfortable! A shoe that you can wear for a walk along the beach or rocks but also for a swim in the sea and not have to worry about continuing your walk afterwards. I'm not sure how achievable it is... but it's not quite a space rocket!