It’s normally a backyard activity and not one thought of as a sport. But trampolining is turning kids lives around – quite literally.
With six first, second and third place ribbons at the recent NSW Trampoline Grand Prix at Moorebank, now the Ku-ringgai Trampoline Club is reaching out to kids around Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby Shires and asking them to give it a go.
“Trampolining brings out the best in kids,” explained Head Coach David Armston, himself a former trampoliner.
“I’ve seen kids come here with low self esteem or self confidence, and after some sessions here they walk away with some amazing new skills their mates don’t have, and their head held high. They feel better about themselves and have more confidence.
“It’s particularly good for kids who don’t excel or want to play in team sports.”
The Gymnastics Australia-affiliated Club has been going since 1974 and since Australia landed a silver medal in trampolining at the 2000 Olympics, there has been a push to get more feet onto those springs to get bouncing our way into boosting that medal tally.
“We’ve been around for many years and have given hundreds of kids the opportunity to learn how to progress in trampoline skills,” he said.
Jake Ormsby is one – he has been trampolining for four years and started coming here after he could go no further with his backyard trampoline as there isn’t the same spring as the huge ones at the Club.
“I learnt by copying the moves on YouTube and practising on my backyard trampoline,” says Jake, 13, from Willoughby. “Now with classes here I can do the tricky double somersault with a half twist and came third at Level 4 at the Grand Prix event.
“I love trampolining because it’s a fun way to push away worries when I have assignments. I think about this instead of my work and it helps. Also the focus is on individuals not teams, so it’s all down to you. But there’s also no pressure.”
Six experienced coaches teach the participants aged from five to 15 a series of manoeuvres ranging from the basics of landing and aerial skills right up to complicated somersaults with all the twists and turns, on the Olympic trampolines and double mini tramp.
They use a safety harness suspended from the ceiling to teach children’s bodies how it feels to execute some moves, until they can do it themselves. Safety is a priority with mats everywhere for softer landings.