Yellow Advertiser - Editorial 20th July 2006
Each week the YA will look at a different activity, giving you the low down on what to do and where to do it. This week we look at trampolining with the help of High Performance Coach, Paul Kitchen, from Brentwood Trampoline Club
What is the aim of the activity?
Trampolining is a competitive sport in which gymnasts perform acrobatic skills high in the air whilst bouncing on a trampoline.
These skills can include single jumps in different body shapes (tucked and straddled being two popular ones) to more complex combinations of forward or backward somersaults and twists.
Paul says: “Since 2000 trampolining has also been an Olympic sport under the wider banner of gymnastics. Competition starts with relative ly straightforward routines (of 10 skills) that can be mastered by most within six months and proceeds to national and international level where routines involve many multiple somersaults including multiple twists.”
Can anyone take part?
Paul says: “Absolutely. One of our coaches didn’t start until he was over 40 and some of our members are rising fives; George Nissen, the inventor of the modern trampoline (and who used to have a factory in Brentwood), still performed somersaults in his 80’s.
“Our club sessions cater for all ages and abilities with specific recreational sessions on Tuesday evenings for adults and Sundays for juniors; most clubs have similar arrangements. It would be fair to say that the younger you start, the better you are likely to get.”
Is it all year round?
“Although some clubs do close during the longer school holidays, Brentwood Trampoline Club is open all year round,” says Paul.
“Most regional competitions occur once a quarter and so the sport is inherently operating throughout the year. Being an indoor sport, it is not weather affected although sometimes the journey to and from the centre can be.”
What equipment will you need?
Paul says: “Obviously a trampoline is a pre-requisite but to ensure a safe environment you also need to have specialist safety mats and support rigs which are used when teaching somersaults and a hall that is at least five metres high (or eight metres for competitive use). Performers need ensure that they are wearing suitable clothing - t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms with socks are ideal for beginners. Jewellery, including any body piercings, should be removed, and all long hair tied back.”
Are there any clubs or courses that I can join?
Brentwood Trampoline Club runs sessions four nights a week at the Brentwood School Sports Centre, Middleton Hall Lane, Brentwood; before joining these sessions, performers would normally have attended the club’s popular recreational sessions which take place twice a month on Sundays, or for adults on Tuesday evenings.
How much does it cost?
Paul says: “Fees will vary from club to club but will almost certainly between £3 and £5 an hour for sessions plus an annual membership fee to cover British Gymnastics’ affiliation and insurance which will be between £15 and £25. Leotards can cost from £25 upwards?’
Where can I find out more?
Visit www.brentwoodtc.org for details on Brentwood Trampoline Club or call the club secretary on 01277 220722.
For details of all affiliated clubs visit the British Gymnastics website at www.british-gymnastics.org