Club Column: Trampolining

‘People should join the Trampolining club because it is great fun and you get to make some awesome friends whilst doing exercise and having the time of your life!’

Courtesy of Alex Brock

Each fortnight, SCAN brings you an exclusive inside peek at one of our fantastic sports clubs. Read about what they get up to, and get the latest on how they are representing Lancaster in competitive sport around the country.

This week’s club column concerns a sport that may be a little less well-known than the others covered in this years’ Club Column (compared to the likes of Rugby, Cricket and Equestrian). Equally, Trampolining isn’t achieving the kind of meteoric growth achieved by sports such as American Football, save for the traditional ‘bounce’ (apologies) in participants following the Olympic games. However, many believe the sport is on the cusp of an explosion in popularity and SCAN will delve into how the world is ready for Trampolining fever. As well as taking a look into Trampolining itself, this week’s club column also speaks to the Lancaster University Trampolining Team Captain, Claire Mather. We began by asking Claire about what separates Trampolining from other sports and societies within Lancaster University. ‘Trampolining is a fantastic sports team to be involved in because anyone of any ability can join. It is so much fun and it doesn’t matter whether you have been bouncing for years or you have never even jumped on a trampoline before, everyone can have a go! We have two parts to the club: Squad- who train 3 times a week and Recreation (Rec) – who train once a week. Squad is more competitive, and you have to be invited to join and you must compete at competitions including Roses and BUCS, whereas in Rec. you can compete if you would like to, but it is not mandatory’.

A few years ago, the trampoline were often confined to many as being either a fixture of holiday centres like Butlins or being the best Christmas present ever (or so my Niece tells me) to someone with a big enough garden. As of 2017 however, there are over 120 trampoline parks across the UK, ranging from places such as the dark, dank depths of Welsh caverns and caves near Mount Snowden all the way to the dark, dank depths of ‘Flip Out’ Blackburn, opposite the DW Sports. These kinds of parks range from just a collection of trampolines in a large gym to mad concoctions with neon paint and trampolines tilted against walls, allowing for a huge variety of incredibly fun activities for kids and adults. Many of the more popular ones include Bouncing Dodgeball, Bouncing Basketball, even bouncing Badminton; the possibilities are endless.  These parks manage to entertain thousands of people every day but the benefits of trampolining stretch far beyond that. For instance, not only are these sorts of parks making trampolines accessible to the mainstream but also the boom of ‘bounce fitness’. As an exercise, trampolining can be extremely effective for cardiovascular training and many (including many Premier League footballers) are utilising the sport in order to improve strength in their lower limbs and benefit them overall as sports people.

With such an increased following into trampolines as a tool for recreation, it only follows that the sport itself be given its due. As more and more people, especially the youth, are given the opportunity to enjoy trampolines then more and more will be eager to discover their own talents and look to exploit that competitively. Trampolining as a sport in Britain has certainly achieved success over the last number of years: at the 2017 World Championships, the Women achieving a bronze medal in the Women’s Team category, the team of double Olympian Katherine Driscoll, Laura Gallagher and Isabelle Songhurst finishing just 3.685 points off the gold medallists China (after achieving a score of 163.810!) with the Women’s Tumbling team took Silver in their category (again, falling to China). The biggest British success story in recent years however has been that of Bryony Page, who became the first ever woman to take home a medal for trampolining when she won Silver in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Progress has been the watchword for Team GB in trampolining and there is no question of the desire for progression within trampolining at Lancaster. We asked Claire about the team’s performance from last year and their plans to build on this for the upcoming season: ‘This season is going amazingly! I think as a team we are doing the best we have done in the whole time that I have been at the university (and I am in my 3rd year now). So many individuals have gained personal bests this season and medal wise, we have got 3 team medals 10 individual medals and that is just from two competitions! The next competition is at Nottingham next weekend, so fingers crossed we all do just as well’.

With three teams available come Roses time and weekly socials planned, the Trampolining team at Lancaster prides itself on being a club that leaves long lasting memories on all members, no matter your ability. When asked about this, Claire said that the club ‘The social side of Trampolining is great- we’re all like a big family and get on really well. Mackenzie (our social Sec) organises some really fun socials and the best thing is that when we are competing we get to go on socials in other cities and with other universities which is a lot of fun’. So not only does the society have plenty of opportunities to achieve success on the field but also offers multiple occasions to make friends and socialise.

Finally, after running through the society as a whole, we asked Claire to give a final summary of why prospective members should seriously consider making Trampolining their new favourite sport. ‘People should join the Trampolining club because it is great fun and you get to make some awesome friends whilst doing exercise and having the time of your life!’.