TALENTED trampolinists have bounced their way into the finals of the Schools’ Trampoline Championships in March,
Haslingden High School’s Paul Chambers, 18, was third in the Under 19s competition and the boys’ team was second in the intermediate competition at the Northern final in Gateshead.
This means they have both now qualified for the final in Wigan.
The Year 7 team was made up of Ben Wilson, Jack Waters, James Peacock and Max Constant, who also took part in Under 14s intermediate competition where he came fourth. It is the first time Haslingden High School has had a boys’ team qualify for the national final.
They will all now go to the competition on March 19, but for Ben and Max it will be a busy weekend as the following day they will be at the British Schools’ Biathlon Championships at Crystal Palace in London.
PE teacher Erika Wilson said: “It is going to be a very busy weekend for them and so we have applied to try to get the trampoline team to compete as early as possible so that Ben and Max can get down to London.
“We have girls competing in the biathlon on the Saturday and then the boys’ event is on the Sunday. We will not get back to Preston station until 11pm on the Sunday.”
Paul has been trampolining since he was at Waterfoot Primary School, but this will be his last year competing for Haslingden because he is taking his A levels and plans to do a business management course at university.
He is a member of Bury Trampoline Club and trains four hours a week.
“The competition was hard,” said Paul. “I didn’t perform as well as I had hoped to and when I came off I thought I had blown it.”
However, although the next contender did a flawless performance it was not as complicated as Paul’s routine and so he was awarded third and a place at the nationals.
It will be the third time he has competed in the nationals, previously being placed sixth and third.
“I am hoping to come in the top five,” said Paul. “I will carry on trampolining, but I probably will not be doing as much.”
For the team, they faced opposition that beat them in the regional heats – Wilmslow, but this time the fortunes were reversed.
Max, 11, used to trampoline before taking up kickboxing, but has returned to the sport since starting at Haslingden High School. His mum Kelly, a trampoline instructor, has been helping to coach the team.
Ben said: “When you compete in the bigger competitions it is scary when you get on the trampoline and look around you.
“I just concentrate on what I have to do and try to forget how many people are watching.”
James was also new to the sport of trampolining until he started at high school, but he was a gymnast for seven years and that has helped him.
They all admitted to being excited, and a bit nervous, about going into the national final.
Photographs copyright CecilPaulStudios