He’s a bounc­ing boy

BLAND CLAIMS A SIL­VER MEDAL ON ENG­LAND DE­BUT

The Chronicle - - Grassroots Sport -

MARTIN Bland is bounc­ing with joy – af­ter win­ning a sil­ver medal on his in­ter­na­tional de­but,

As re­ported in Grass­roots Sport, the Culler­coats tram­polin­ist was part of the Eng­land ju­nior team con­test­ing the Fri­volten Cup in Swe­den.

Eng­land took on squads from Den­mark, Hol­land, Ger­many and Swe­den in the pres­ti­gious event, Bland claim­ing a su­perb sil­ver in the ju­nior boys’ sec­tion.

What made the 14 year-old’s achieve­ment all the more cred­itable was the fact he was up against boys older than him – up to the age of 18.

Bland said: “I was lost for words when I re­alised I had won a sil­ver medal.

“The week was chal­leng­ing both phys­i­cally and men­tally but I was so happy I was able to win a medal rep­re­sent­ing my coun­try.”

His call-up was recog­ni­tion for a year of suc­cess for Bland, a mem­ber of the Wash­ing­ton­based Apollo Tram­polin­ing Club.

Last Oc­to­ber he won the Bri­tish Tram­po­line Elite Cham­pi­onship ti­tle (13-14 years) at Liver­pool’s Echo Arena, mak­ing him the No 1 in the UK in his age group.

The young­ster fol­lowed that last month with gold at the English Qual­i­fi­ca­tion Se­ries One event in Gilling­ham, Kent – tri­umph­ing by a clear six marks.

He then bagged another gold at Telford in the Bri­tish Gym­nas­tics Spring Se­ries One event.

Bland’s coach at the Apollo club Gary Short is de­lighted but not sur­prised at his pro­tege gain­ing na­tional recog­ni­tion for his tram­polin­ing tal­ents.

He said: “I started coach­ing Martin at the start of last year and in that time he has made mas­sive progress.

“Martin is a ter­rific prospect and if he keeps work­ing hard and im­prov­ing the way he is he can go a long way in the sport.”

Bland is seek­ing spon­sor­ship to help his ca­reer de­velop fur­ther. Any­one in­ter­ested should con­tact his dad David on 07895 384 684.

Martin Bland proudly shows off the sil­ver medal he won for Eng­land at the Fri­volten Cup in Swe­den

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