Elly Gandy’s Postcard from Oz - February Update
Hi. I’m Elly Gandy. I used to swim for Beckenham until my dad got a job in Melbourne so my whole family relocated to Australia. I won my first World Championship medal in Shanghai last year and now my focus has turned to Olympic qualification at the British Gas Swimming Championships in March…
I had a really great Christmas this year. I’m still not used to it being warm (I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it!), so it really doesn’t feel Christmassy when it’s baking hot outside.
But my family always make a point of having a proper British roast Christmas dinner, even when it’s 35 degrees. I was sweating eating dinner it was that hot!
Training doesn't really stop but I spend a bit of time down the beach so that means loads of outdoor training which I love!
Even though it’s not great being so far away from family, it’s quite nice because we always seem to have English people come to stay at our place anyway.
This year it was my sister’s two best friends from home and my brother’s friend’s friend who didn’t have anyone to spend Christmas with over here.
Because it’s summer here over Christmas, training doesn’t really stop. I spend a bit of time down the beach so that means lots of outdoor training which I LOVE!
For the last couple of years I’ve got into doing the Surf Life Saving Open Water competitions down the coast. You get pretty good prizes for winning and it’s like a combination of a day at the beach and a training session so I get the best of both worlds.
It was pretty cool this year because I won one of the biggest races in Victoria – the Pier to Pub – and I got a travel voucher for winning which I plan to spend at the end of this year when I have a holiday.
Because I spend so much time at the beach I got a stand-up paddle board for Christmas. I’m really not a fan of big waves so it’s great I can just paddle around on the nice flat water.
It’s also a bit of cross training so it improves my core strength and most of all, it’s just really fun!
My dogs have got into it as well and they quite happily sit on the front of my board as I take them out to sea.
Australian State Championships have been going on for a couple of months now. I did the Queensland States in December last year and we just had the Victorian States a few weeks ago.
It was quite surreal seeing him swimming when I've only ever watched him on TV years ago.
Quite a few high profile Aus swimmers were there which made for a good competition I got to see Ian Thorpe in the flesh for the first time.
I still get really star-struck when I meet legends of the sport like him and it’s quite surreal seeing him swimming when I’ve only ever watched him on TV years ago when I was little.
Usually at the Vic States it’s just me and Kate Haywood waving the British flag but this year we had a few swimmers from the British Gas ITCs in Bath and Loughborough.
It was SO much fun having the other GB guys there and after the competition we had a BBQ at my place which was a great way to catch up with everyone.
It’s been a lovely sunny summer and I’ve got a lot done but now I can’t wait to get back to England and race in the Olympic pool at the Olympic trials in March.