Now, I’m sure most of you have bounced around on a trampoline at some point in your lives, whether you have one in your back garden or you take the opportunity every time you visit that certain friend or relative. Trampolining is a form of exercise which almost doesn’t feel like exercise – it feels like you’re flying, and guess what? It’s an Olympic sport. Yes, that’s right, you can compete in trampolining both on your own and in a team. You can even do synchronised routines (where two people do the same routine in time).
Competitive trampolining is when an athlete, such as a gymnast, completes acrobatic movements whilst on a trampoline. Different techniques get you different amounts of points depending on the difficulty level, and competitors are divided up depending on certain criteria, depending on the level of competition. In some competitions you will be divided up depending on grade, or weight, or age, or even all three! The higher the level you are, the more impressive moves you can make because, as with everything, the more you learn about trampolining, the more impressive the outcome. Some competitors will have basic movements that you might do in your back garden in their routines, like a pike or tuck jump. Some will be able to somersault and flip! Each and every movement takes a lot of practice and dedication to get right. However, it is important to note that the people who can do these amazing moves have been professionally trained – so don’t try it at home.
Trampolining only came into the Olympics in the year 2000, but since then it has rapidly created a huge following with dedicated national teams all over the planet! The USA in particular are renowned for their trampolining, mainly because the sport developed in their country. The trampoline was invented in the 1930’s by George Nissen, an American gymnast, and after its creation trampolining rocketed in popularity across the states – it even made it into the school syllabus for a period. Nowadays however, trampolining is only taught at competitor level in specialist clubs and gyms, though mostly people can train their skills from the ages of 5 or 6!
So there we have it, we have introduced you to a sport that teaches you how to fly! If you already enjoy trampolining and have a taste for competition why not ask someone to take you down to the local gym and see if they have classes for your age…maybe you could be the next Olympic champion! How cool would that be? Even if you’ve never trampolined before, but like the sound of it, what’s to stop you trying it out? There are places up and down the country ready to teach you the ropes. Will you give it a try?