Out of left field: DU Trampolining

An underrated airborne experience with something for everyone

For most people out there, when they hear the word ‘trampoline’, they likely think of their airborne hi-jinx in years gone by or possibly Homer Simpson’s exuberant reaction to an advert in the Springfield Shopper. Or maybe that’s just me. But for the folks at DU Trampoline Club, it is so much more than that. It’s a social scene, a fun form of exercise and a place to exert yourself and chase success.

For the uninitiated out there, what exactly is trampolining? “Trampolining isn’t just about bouncing in your garden,” says Club Rep Sean Murray “It’s an Olympic sport where moves are performed on a trampoline as part of a routine and various components of the routine are judged to give the gymnast a score.” A form of acrobatic expression, it was added to the Olympics in 2000 during the Sydney games. But Murray insists its high profile shouldn’t be considered a deterrent. “If that sounds like sucking the fun out of regular backyard bouncing then you’d be very wrong! We don’t take things too seriously and we always try to bring the same energy you’d have whilst bouncing on a garden trampoline.”

Murray himself has been an avid trampolinist for many years. “I used to do it when I did gymnastics between the ages of five and nine. When I turned 10, I started doing trampolining on its own, but gave it up when I got to 12. It wasn’t until I began studying for my masters last year that I came back to the sport.” For Club Secretary, Cathal Hannafin, it was the gradual improvement and supportive atmosphere that attracted him to the club. “The people in the trampoline club were the first club that made me feel that, despite being infinitely un-co-ordinated, I actually might be okay at something! And here I am now, 15 months later, finally able to do very questionable somersaults.” 

Hannafin’s experience is not isolated. DU Trampoline provides a welcoming atmosphere for all new members and makes sure that, no matter what skill level you have, you’ll be able to take part and have fun. “Speaking from experience, the club is nothing if not beginner-friendly,” explained Hannafin: “I joined the club last year, having never stepped foot on a trampoline beyond that one birthday party I went to in Jumpzone.” Newcomers can also take solace in the fact that the club has fully qualified coaches so they don’t have to feel nervous about being pushed too hard too fast. “Our coaches are all qualified to coach someone with absolutely zero experience. The first skills we teach aren’t too taxing, and even competitions have divisions designed for beginners, so everyone can compete.” 

“As well as the many beginners, the club has many long term members and it has been quite successful recently.”

And as well as the many beginners, the club has many long term members and it has been quite successful recently. Caitríona Quinn, the club captain, was very proud of the achievements of all of its members. “We’ve had a number of competitions this term and our members have excelled at each of them. The list of medallists is quite extensive so to keep it simple, our members achieved ten medals at Varsities, two medals at the Munster Open and five medals at the Welsh Open qualifiers.” Among all this success were eight gold medals, a sure sign that the Trinity trampolinists are in very strong stead at the moment. “Everyone, from our oldest to our newest member, has been really driven recently which has definitely contributed to this success.” continued Quinn “We’re delighted with everyone’s performance so far this year and we are incredibly proud of how well the club is doing”.

The competitions aren’t all about medals and success. According to Murray, they also serve an important social function. “Every competition we attend takes up a whole weekend of which the Friday and Saturday nights are big nights out for all involved.” Being able to bond like that over weekends away is key to building relationships between old and new members but it’s not all about the competitions. DU Trampoline also organises several local social events. “We try to organise non-trampoline events throughout the year, such as ice skating, as well as the social events at trampoline competitions,” detailed Quinn. “We also have our annual pub crawl at Christmas and we also like to organise interclub events. These give us opportunities to get to know students from all over Ireland.”

“It’s clear to see that DU Trampoline Club is able to be all things to all people”

It’s clear to see that DU Trampoline Club is able to be all things to all people.If you’re looking for a space to meet new friends or try something new, there’s a place for you. If trampolining is your passion, DU Trampoline is a driven and successful group. Quinn wanted to be sure to emphasise that point. “I learned how accepting the club is and how open they are to people of all levels. We love new members and it’s so satisfying seeing people progress from complete beginner to winning their first medal to doing their first somersault!”

Conor Doyle

Conor Doyle is the current Sport Editor of Trinity News, and a Junior Sophister Law student.