On Thursday 4th of February DU Trampoline Club embarked on their annual international adventure to take part in the Scottish Student Trampoline Open, or SSTO as it is affectionately referred to by those who attend. SSTO is the largest student competition in Scotland and one of the most competitive in the trampoline season. Universities from all over England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales made the trek up to rainy Glasgow to see who could bounce, twist and somersault their way to victory in the 4 categories: Individual Trampoline, Synchronised Trampoline, DMT (Double Mini Trampoline). Du Trampoline managed to win a medal in every discipline they competed in, raking in an impressive medal haul to bring home.
Where’s Wally tour of Glasgow
Some members of the club went over on Thursday night hoping that ‘a good night’s sleep’ could give them an edge in the individual competition on Friday afternoon, or at least that’s what they told us! The rest of the club travelling over on Friday morning got a quick glimpse of the antics Glasgow held in store with the pictures sent back, which definitely made the 4am trip to the airport more entertaining. Although, for future reference it seems that a Where’s Wally tour of Glasgow by night is in fact the best competition prep, as David Noone, our Competitions Officer, took silver in the Novice Men’s category with two excellent routines on Friday afternoon.
All of the novice and intermediate men competed on Friday afternoon, with some of our members officiating the judging panels. On Friday we had some free time to explore Glasgow and find our feet in the area. We arrived at our hostel to discover that to our delight we had been given a suite taking up an entire floor to ourselves featuring our own bathrooms, showers, a private TV/ lounge area, and the classiest hostel bedroom any of us had ever seen. And to make things even better, a hot buffet breakfast was included for free. First impressions of Glasgow: Incredible. The only downside being that we couldn’t stay longer.
DU Trampoline Club pride ourselves on being one of the most fun and sociable sports clubs in Trinity and so, of course the socials over the weekend were a big highlight for us. The first night was a ceili hosted by the Students Union of Glasgow University. Apart from all the people in “black tie” or kilts it almost felt like being 15 in the Gaeltacht again.
Getting down to business
Early on Saturday morning at 9am the rest of the individual competition started. The individual competition is split into different levels depending on what skills you can do. An average intermediate routine would have 1 or 2 somersaults out of 10 skills, while an advanced routine would usually have around 5 or 6 somersaults out of 10 skills. During the competition you compete two routines of 10 skills which are marked on form (how correctly the skill is done) and tariff (how difficult the skill is to do) the marks from both routines are counted. The best and worst part about competing in trampoline are actually the same thing: the competition is unpredictable until the very end. The top contender could be knocked completely out of the race if they make a single mistake in the second round. Medals have been won and lost on the head of landing on one foot, completing 19 rather than 20 skills, or, sometimes in the case of elites, missing the trampoline completely and finishing on the floor. All of the ladies’ categories: Novice, Intermediate, Intervanced, Advanced and Elite took place on Saturday along with Intervanced up in the male categories. These categories cater to all ability levels so over the course of the day we saw everything from shaky 180 degree twists to double back somersaults.
Trinity performed exceptionally well in all the categories despite stiff competition. We had several elite competitors in both mens’ and ladies which is always a credit to the club as to achieve this level requires huge commitment from the athletes and our coaches that train them too. Iain Meeke, one of our elite gymnasts in 4th year performed the most difficult routine from our club with a tariff of 6.6. Tariff is how we measure difficulty in trampolining, with each skill given a specific value. To put it in perspective one single somersault, front or back, is worth 0.5, so out of Iain’s 10 skills several were double somersaults and had twists as well. After the medal ceremony we headed back to our palatial hostel to get ready for the main social of the weekend.
A Disney Night’s Dream
Every trampoline competition has a theme and SSTO this year was Disney themed. So, for Saturday night only, we got to live the dream of being Disney characters and see what magic we could stumble upon. Trinity’s cohort featured a very convincing Captain Jack Sparrow frolicking with a jedi, Artistocats and Cheshire cats all causing confusion for poor Alice in Wonderland and some Toy Story aliens that even Minnie Mouse couldn’t keep out of trouble. The “Tramps” as we call ourselves were easy to spot with all the Dalmatians scattered around the club. It seemed like there were about 101 of them to keep us all together.
Counting the Silverware
On Sunday we unfortunately had to check out of our lovely “Suite MOI” in Eurohostel and head to the sports centre for the last day of the competition, which turned to be our most successful in terms of medals. The DMT, Synchronised trampoline and Two-Trick all took place on Sunday. Synchro is one of Trinity’s specialities and having taken bronze last year we returned, determined to retain our place on the podium. DU Trampoline captain Roisin Greening, and Club Rep Aideen Mallon blew the judges away scoring 9.3 out of 10 for Desynch which proved enough to claim the silver medals and only marginally missing gold, making it a 2 year streak for Roisin and gaining Aideen her first international medal. Post-Grad Lauren Gage and one of our fresher’s Cliodhna Whittle also did incredibly well but narrowly missed out on placing. In Two-Trick our Captain Roisin got through to the final with the highest qualifying score and went on to win gold for the 2nd year. Unfortunately we did not have any competitors in DMT as we do not have the equipment to train for it yet but we have big hopes for competing next year. Having won medals in every category we competed in this year, our sights are set on filling the gap next year.
This year SSTO was particularly magical thanks partly to the Disney theme, but mostly to all the hard work that everyone put in. The SSTO committee from Scottish Student Sport are possibly the most organised students I have ever met and always go out of their way to help in any way they can. Competitions Officer David and myself (Captain) did huge amounts of work before the trip even started to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves, and the whole committee helped keep everything on track while we were there. Most of all though, it was the wonderful people in our club that made SSTO so memorable. Even now that the glitter has finally washed off they are still extraordinary. Come and visit us if you haven’t already, because anyone can be a ‘tramp’! Trust me, you won’t ever look back.
Trampolining Training Times – 3rd floor Sports Hall
New members always welcome!
Event Photography by Douglas L Jardine