Tram­polin­ist bounces off pho­bia

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

For a teenager who’s re­luc­tant to travel to the top of the Sky Tower, Peter Se­font is one high-fly­ing tram­polin­ist.

The 13-year-old Avon­dale Col­lege stu­dent has been se­lected to rep­re­sent New Zealand at the Indo-Pa­cific Tram­po­line and Tum­bling Cham­pi­onships in Ro­torua in Oc­to­ber.

“I en­joy the bounc­ing even though I’m afraid of heights,” he says.

“I just learned to jump higher and higher and higher and got used to it.”

He will warm up for the tour­na­ment by tak­ing part in the New Zealand na­tion­als in Septem­ber af­ter winning the Auck­land A-grade pairs com­pe­ti­tion in July with part­ner Alon Kruger.

The dis­ci­pline sees both boys jump­ing sev­eral me­tres while per­form­ing the same syn­chro­nised rou­tine, but on dif­fer­ent tram­po­lines.

While it will be Peter’s first time com­pet­ing at both events, he says there is plenty of in­cen­tive to do well.

“I’m not to sure how I’ll go, but you can go all the way to the Olympics.”

He says the types of moves and how they’re ex­e­cuted are taken into con­sid­er­a­tion dur­ing judg­ing, which can make putting a rou­tine to­gether dif­fi­cult.

Peter’s coach, Angie Dou­gal from the Mt Roskill­based Ex­treme Tram­po­line club, says he has made plenty of progress re­cently.

“In the last six months he’s come from no-where near qual­i­fy­ing to maybe mak­ing a fi­nal at the na­tion­als.”

She says this is a re­sult of train­ing eight to 10 hours a week on the tram­po­line, as well as fit­ness work off the tramp and an im­prove­ment in nutri­tion.

And with Olympic ath­letes com­pet­ing into their early 30s, Peter has plenty of time to reach that level.

“In tram­polin­ing in New Zealand, peo­ple tend to leave the sport quite early,” Mrs Dou­gal says.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to fo­cus on it when the sport is not highly funded.”

While New Zealand didn’t have any tram­polin­ists at Bei­jing, she says the 2012 Olympics in Lon­don could see Ki­wis tak­ing part.

As for Peter’s chances of com­pet­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally, she says he could be suc­cess­ful if he stays with it.

“With his com­mit­ment to train­ing, he could def­i­nitely make it.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

High flyer: Up-and-com­ing tram­polin­ist Peter Se­font will rep­re­sent New Zealand at the Indo-Pa­cific champs in Ro­torua dur­ing Oc­to­ber, de­spite a fear of heights.

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