The British Trampoline National Finals
National Indoor Arena Birmingham
July 5th. & 6th. 2008
Competitors all over the country have been battling for a qualifying score since February to allow them a place at these prestigious finals. This was also the last time that the two main clubs in Milton Keynes would compete under separate identities, Orbit and Kingston Kites.
In the photograph we have from left to right, beginning at the back,
'T.J', Nick Winther, Glyn Dickinson, Annie Turney, Rebekah Bridge, Sophie Myers, Holly Leung, Dayle Walker, and Julie Hardy. Jez Billingham had to leave before the photo.
Apart from all the training and preliminary rounds, these twelve began their final preparation on the Friday night of the 4th. traveling up to Birmingham to train on the competition equipment the night before. Although brief, this was an important opportunity to take in the scale of the arena, its height and size, which can be a shock to the unseasoned, and the performance of the trampolines.
At 8.30am on Saturday, the warm ups proper began for those competing in the morning, and the struggle for a position in the top eight to go forwards to Sunday was underway.
Beginning with the grade 2s this is how the battle commenced;
Holly Leung representing Kingston Kites warmed up well, with her characteristic clean style, but her compulsory routine suffered nerves or something else, and she returned scores well below par, leaving her in 43rd. place. This was an impossible position from which to reach the top 8, but Holly did her best and the voluntary pulled her right back up to 21st. place. Oh what might have been, but this was the end of this year’s finals for her.
All season Rebekah Bridge from Kingston, and Emily Young from Orbit, had been vying with each other, each never failing to step onto the podium. We certainly had high hopes. The smallest of margins separated the competitors, but Emily only performed a good compulsory, leaving her in 12th. place, while Rebekah found more errors, arriving at 17th. There was a lot to do in the voluntaries. Rebekah pulled herself together and improved her jumping in the voluntary, while Emily began well but ended on a poor tenth move. Sadly neither would be competing any further this year, ending in 12th. and 13th. place respectively.
From Kingston, Annie Turney gave a great compulsory routine, leaving her in 4th. place. Again, all the girls were separated by the smallest of margins. Annie needed excellent form marks as her tariff was on the low side, and she jumped well, but not enough to find that 8th. place, her competition ending here in 12th. position.
Jez Billingham from Orbit had also had his degree of success throughout the season, but also his trouble spots, so we waited. He performed a good compulsory routine, lying in 7th. place with only the smallest of margins separating the first dozen. The voluntaries got under way, and Jez gave a great routine, scoring the highest form marks in the group, raising him to 3rd. place. This meant that for him the competition continued into the Sunday, where one final voluntary would decide the medal positions. On the Sunday, Jez warmed up well and seemed relaxed. He produced another good voluntary retaining his 3rd. place. An excellent result which puts him among the top National performers.
Also in this group of competitors was Thomas Johnson, ‘TJ’ to all his team mates, representing Kingston Kites. His was a story of two routines, one special the other less so. His compulsory routine left him in 6th. place, one ahead of Jez. Unfortunately, like so many trampolinists, TJ was unable to maintain his standard, and his voluntary routine let him down, leaving him in 10th. place and bringing his 2008 competition to an end. However, 10th. in the National rankings 10th isn’t bad!
Sophie Myers from Kingston Kites warmed up well, but is known for ‘rising to the occasion’ at competitions. Her set routine was good, but some were just that bit better, leaving her tenths behind in 11th. place. This was where Sophie gritted her teeth and pulled out a very good voluntary, raising her to 7th. place. She would go on to compete for the medals on Sunday. On Sunday Sophie may have tried too hard, she just couldn’t quite repeat her voluntary as on the Saturday and she came home in 8th. place in the final. Well done.
Representing Orbit, Glyn Dickinson entered the competition after a variable season. Injury, lost moves, technical disputes, had all played their part in his arrival at the finals. Offsetting these adversities was Glyn’s work ethic and determination. He was ready. After a reliable compulsory routine, where high sevens to eights were expected and achieved, he was lying in equal second place, one whole mark behind the leader. After a good voluntary Glyn consolidated his place but closed on the leader to seven tenths. We would have to see what Sunday would bring. The final voluntaries were an exciting mix of fortunes, some competitors falling and losing their places, but Glyn was not among them, giving a good performance, as did the leader, preserving the top positions. Second in the country, his best result so far, great.
In the Grade 1s four jumpers tried for National positions;
Representing Kingston Kites, Dayle Walker got our competitors under way. She warmed up well, but always had the ghost of doubt in her compulsory routine. Sadly, this came back to haunt her and she was left in 23rd. place with an almost impossible task. Rallying bravely, Dayle gave a fine voluntary scoring the 4th. highest form marks, but could only raise her results to 21st. place.
Laura Wright, recovering from illness came to jump for Kingston, and was 11th. after the compulsory routines. Her voluntary suffered from travel, and she had one of the lower tariffs, so ended in 13th. place – a great achievement under the circumstances.
Julie Hardy had qualified against the run of training, or the lack of it, but she was here on merit and going to get down to the job. After a very close set of scores for the compulsory Julie was lying in 5th. place. Scores were very similar after the voluntaries, tenths separating them, only the leader from Northampton safe and seemingly unassailable. Sunday arrived and they all warmed up again, and after overcoming some crushing nerves, Julie returned her best yet routine showing the form of which she is capable, scoring the highest marks for the final round. This put pressure on the front runners, who gradually capitulated, and on count back with the leader, it was apparent that Julie had rocketed herself to a National title!! Well done champ.
Nick Winther bravely competed after a difficult season of lost moves and variable confidence, but he showed some form reaching 11th. place after the compulsory. Nick failed to complete his voluntary, but was not alone in this mishap and retained 11th. place. Better luck next season.
For further information please call Russ or Genni Jackman on 01908-313048