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Gymnastics club hosts Trampworx

Freestyle trampoline event invites athletes to show off their twists and turns



Trampolines are big in Whistler. They're used by skiers, snowboarders, wakeboarders, gymnastics, mountain bikers and others to practice spins and flips and get comfortable in the air.

But while those athletes might take those trampoline skills into other competitions, only a few will actually match moves with other athletes on the trampoline itself.

Enter Trampworx, a new event hosted by Whistler Gymnastics on Nov. 5 at their new facility. The event is geared towards skiers, snowboarders and other athletes with freestyle trampoline skills.

There are three events. In Trampoline Big Air the athletes will perform two different tricks and can stop and start bouncing in between jumps.

In the Double Mini Big Air, athletes will show off two different dismount skills. No run-up is required and athletes can bounce on the double mini-tramp as much as they want before the launch onto the crash mat.

In Trampoline Slope Style, athletes have to perform five different skills with one bounce or a half turn allowed between tricks.

None of the five skills can be repeated. In the first year the event is open to Whistler Gymnastics members aged 9 to adult, including participants in trampoline programs and athletes who are already registered with the club and are using the gym to cross-train for other sports.

In the future it will be opened up to other gymnastics clubs in B.C. and Alberta.

"We want to do something in the Spring where we'd invite other clubs, but we wanted to have this event to work out the rules and format and things like that," explained Whistler Gymnastics trampoline coach Louise Stack.

Stack said she got the idea for the contest from a new program created by the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association to teach coaches how to teach their students off-axis tricks.

"We have such a big market of kids - not only in Whistler but throughout Canada - that are learning new school, off-axis tricks on the trampoline," she said. "And there are just no competitions around that are available to kids that enjoy that style of trampoline and would enjoy the competition. It's also a way to award kids for doing well and recognize their skills. It's more about having your own style and getting rewarded for doing well than having points deducted because their arms weren't straight or whatever."

For safety, athletes are limited to the tricks that are allowed with their level of coaching certifications. For example, Level 1 athletes can't perform inverted or off-axis tricks, but can spin, grab and back drop.

Level 2 athletes can do single flips with a maximum of a full twist, and single off-axis tricks to a maximum of 720 degrees of rotation. Example tricks could be Misty 540s, corked 720s, full backs and front saultos.

Level 3 athletes, the highest level, can do a single inversion with a maximum triple twist, a single off-axis to a maximum of 1260 degrees of rotation, a double somersault with a maximum full twist or a double off-axis to a maximum 1260 rotation. No triple somersaults are allowed. Example tricks could be back double fulls, corked 1080s, misty 90s, double corked 1080s, etc.

Participants will be broken down into age categories, depending on the number of athletes taking part. If there are over 10 jumpers in any category there will be a final event to select the overall winner.

The competition takes place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oros Whistler Gymnastics Centre at Cheakamus Crossing. The deadline for registration in Wednesday, Nov. 2.