Bouncing high on success

Nicole Swanepoel. Photo: Sonwabile Antonie

24 Seven Gymnastics and Trampoline is starting the year guns blazing after a breakout 2016. The club started participating in competitions such as the South African Games and Mini-Trampoline and Blacktop Trampoline last year and swept all comers, becoming a force to be reckoned with. In merely a few training sessions, coach Luitha Roux used her experience of more than three decades to catapult her athletes to championship success.

“It has been a fantastic year and my gymnasts who had only competed for a few months progressed all the way to the South African Championships in Cape Town. This is a great feat. We showed the province and the country that we are real competitors. For this year, we want to compete in more acrobatic and trampoline gymnastics competitions to improve ourselves. Our club does not focus on just one discipline as gymnastics has more than 10 disciplines,” she said.

Now the coach and her gymnasts are hungry for more success and are training hard in new national routines. One competition the club is gunning for is the South African Championships in Pretoria later this year.

JC Roux during one of his routines. Photo: Sonwabile Antonie

JC Roux during one of his routines. Photo: Sonwabile Antonie

“Every few years the South African Gymnastics Federation has new national trampoline routines in which we must drill our gymnasts. The young gymnasts have been soaking up the routines like a sponge as if they’ve been doing them for years. This bodes well for the year as its clear they have not lost their spark and are even more willing to work harder,” she said.

The club trains in double mini-trampoline, which is smaller than a regulation competition trampoline. It has a sloped end and a flat bed. The gymnasts run up and jump onto the sloping end and then jump onto the flat part before dismounting onto a mat. Skills are performed during the jumps or as they dismount. In addition the club’s gymnasts train in table-top trampoline, which allows for five to 10 moves in a set routine. The club also provides training in the Eurotramp trampoline, which is used in the World Championships and Olympics competitions.

“Trampoline is a way, especially for boys who might be shy, to gain confidence to compete in gymnastics because they learn to be strong and work in a team. We train in all aspects such as discipline and commitment, and they also learn to accept the victories with the defeats. That is how a champion is made,” Luitha said.

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Sonwabile Antonie

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