Giv­ing kids more bounce

Monthly Chronicle - - Local Sports - Jenny Bar­lass

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.

Jake

An­nie Phoebe

KTC Com­peti­tor suc­cess at NSW Tram­po­line Grand Prix with (L to R) Brad, 11, Tim, 13, Nick, 13, Phoebe, 14, Jake,13 and Talia, 9.

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