Trampolinist bounces off phobia
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.”
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.