Sydney Dean
contributing teen writer

When you think about competitive sports you might think football, basketball, baseball, or volleyball. However, for 19-year-old Ella Budge of Logan the competition lies in jump roping. Thanks to her hard work, Ella won Gold at the 2023 International Jump Rope Union (IJRU) World Jump Rope Championships.

Ella started jump roping when she was in first grade and as she puts it “hasn’t stopped jumping since!” She competes at American Jump Rope Federation (AMJRF) Nationals and other small competitions that take place on the west coast every year. To prepare for these competitions she practices her routines with her team three or four nights a week and she practices alone as well.

“This summer, to pay for competitions, I was working three jobs,” Ella said. “So, a typical day was getting up at 6:30 a.m., coaching Just Jumpin’, helping run the Fun and Fitness summer camp, then working at my third job, and ending the day practicing with my teammates for a few hours.” Ella added that she doesn’t have a lot of free time, but when she does, she loves to travel, read, hang out with friends, hike, and go to the gym.

While competing wasn’t a new experience for Ella, she shared that competing at IJRU World Competition was by far the coolest and most unique competition experience she has ever had.

“When I walked into the arena in Colorado, it was a lot different than I was used to,” she said. “I usually know most of the competitors when I go to a competition, but there were thousands of competitors from around the world that I have never seen jump before. It was so cool to see their different styles of jumping and what they worked so hard to perform. Jump rope is such a special sport because we all want each other to do well. We are like one giant family.”

Ella’s win was special to many different people. Ella shared that “winning gold in my wheel pairs was such an incredible moment for me. My teammate Seth Ingram and I worked really hard on this routine all year long. Hitting it clean and being rewarded for our hard work and success is what keeps me motivated and determined to continue to push this sport.”

One of Ella’s coaches, Kathryn Ozmun, said, “This win is so special because at the Grand World Championships,there were only two teams from the USA that took the overall first place award in any event. There were easily 30 opportunities for a US group to take home the gold, but only two groups accomplished that, and Ella and Seth were one of them.”

In addition, Patrice Winn, the head coach of the Just Jumpin’ Team and president of the Jumpin’ Company, shared that she was extremely proud of Ella and all her hard work. She explained that since she conceived and established Just Jumpin’ in 2003, Ella
has been the first person to win Worlds from their team. In other words, Ella’s hard work is the start of a new era for the Just Jumpin’ team.

Ella loves jump rope and wants to share that love with everyone around her. “I love teaching people jump rope and watching them grow and improve,” Ella said. “Jump rope is for anyone and I try to share it with everyone.”

Coach Ozmun expanded on her attitude when she proudly stated that “Ella is successful because she is absolutely a team player. She can take and give criticism with poise. Everyone wants Ella on their team. She is passionate about motivating others.”