Trampolinists off to Tauranga
Eight local athletes will fly to Tauranga at the end of the month for the New Zealand Gymnastics Championships.
The group, who are all members of the Wanaka Trampoline and Tumbling Club, has attained the qualifying mark to gain selection for the team to represent Otago at the championships.
Club Chairman, Ian Percy, said it was a "remarkable achievement for the club".
"With only such a small competitive squad it is great that over 90 percent have made it. We have four who went two years ago and seven last year, so our club is doing really well."
The squad hoped to make their event finals, which will be a significant achievement as only the top eight make the cut from over 30 athletes in each category.
Hiring Aspiring Trampolining facility had proven no obstacle for the club, despite the severe training restrictions that the squad have had to contend with.
Percy believed that if the club had its own, larger premises, there would be an opportunity for the club to offer more training to snowsports and freestyle athletes. A bigger facility would also maintain the competitive "purist" branch of the sport and meet the growing demand for recreational trampolining.
According to Percy, the demand is reflected by large numbers of people who now participate in recreational sessions - over 120 people a week, with at least 40 on a waiting list to join.
But he stressed that the numbers only reflect locals and do not take into account seasonal snowsports athletes, or tourists who often seek "new experiences".
The squad finished preparations for the National Championships on Sunday, September 16, with another visit to Christchurch, as guests of a Canterbury interclub event.
Two of the eight athletes, Deia Carson-Wolfe and Elizabeth Pell, won both the trampoline and double mini trampoline events meaning they have placed first in all their events this year.
Imogen Dougherty overcame her disappointment of an error at the end of her trampoline routine, to come second in the 15/16 age group on the double mini.
The group also noted fine performances by the remainder of the squad: Dean Coll, Skyla Coll, Piper Carson-Wolfe, Kate Beaton and Izzy Percy who received placings in their events.
The squad will leave a few days early for the New Zealand Gymnastics Championships to attend a three-day training camp in Hamilton. The camp will provide the opportunity for them to train without facility restrictions on trampoline, double mini trampoine and tumbling equipment.
The young athletes will then travel to Tauranga for the Nationals which run from October 3-6.
Aimee Owens, The Wanaka Sun, 20 September 2018