Jumping for ultimate glory

TRAMPOLINISTS Ji Wallace and Christie Jenkins bounced into Traralgon on Sunday to inspire the next generation of aerial athletes at Karls Mega Sports.

The pair taught some basic skills and showed off the latest equipment in the sport.

Wallace, who won silver in trampolining at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, said the grassroots sport focused on providing a fun and casual atmosphere at all levels.

“We’re here as athletes showing that a trampoline from the backyard can take you all the way to the Olympics,” he said.

“Not everyone has run a 400 metre track or swum up and down an Olympic swimming pool, but almost everybody that you talk to has a backyard trampolining story.”

Wallace said the sport received a spike in participation since becoming part of the gymnastics family after the Sydney games, and it helped with children’s development and spatial awareness.

“For little kids its really good for their motor neuron skills,” he said.

Jenkins said she has jumping in her genes, with her parents meeting on a trampoline, and beginning the sport at a young age.

Now competing in world championship events, Jenkins said the acrobatic endeavour was accessible for all.

“Right down at the bottom level it’s all your basic jumps, landing on your back and your bottom; when you get up to an elite level you’re looking at triple somersaults and multiple twists,” she said.

The duo said gymnastics clubs and trampolining specific clubs were the best starting point for people looking to take their trampolining further, and the backyard trampoline was the best stepping stone.

For more information about trampolining and safe equipment, visit www.vulytrampolines.com, Karls Mega Sports in Traralgon or phone Stephanie Fallon 0488 238 287.