Rebound Club trampolinists set to fly flag for Leeds in Baku
Leeds Rebound Gymnastics Club are jumping for joy as five of their athletes have been selected to represent Great Britain at the upcoming Age Group World Championships in November.
Dan May, 29, started Leeds Rebound Gymnastics in 2012 after using his student loan to buy their first ever trampoline, in a bid to increase trampolining participation in Yorkshire.
A tumbling gymnast himself, May was disappointed to find that there was nowhere for him to continue his training after moving to Leeds University from Birmingham to study.
The young athlete and coach joined the University’s trampolining society in 2012 and quickly went on to assemble a team of athletes to compete in various British Gymnastics’ competitions.
“I used my student loan of that year to buy one second-hand trampoline and then rented two trampolines from a school and we set up the club from there with just four members,” said May, who opened Leeds Rebound Gymnastics Centre in 2017 to accommodate an influx of members.
This week, it was announced that five athletes from the club have been selected to compete for Great Britain in the Age Group World Championships.
The competition, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, takes place from November 25-28 and will see athletes from Leeds Rebound compete in the individual, synchronised and double-mini trampoline events.
Harrison Green, 20, will take part in the 17-21 men’s double mini trampoline event in what will be his third Age Group Championships.
“Harrison started the year after the club began and came to one of the holiday camps which we run,” said May.
“He showed a very good aptitude for double mini trampoline and he’s been with us ever since then as a gymnast and as a coach.”
Green, who currently studies at Northumbria University, comes back to train with the club on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week and has previously competed at the 2018 Senior World Championships.
Synchro partners Gabriella Moorhouse and Sophie Graham will be competing in the 13-14 girls individual and synchronised trampolining.
“We are super hopeful that the girls will one day go to the Olympic Games,” said May, whose club has also seen Graham’s sister represent Great Britain at two previous world championships. “Both of the athletes are in a great position to go to the Junior European Championships next April and they are the top ranked junior girls at the moment for those four spots.”
Eitan Aibi, 15, will also be competing in the individual and synchronised trampoline event for 15-16 boys.
Aibi was coached by May himself from the age of eight and competes alongside his Scottish synchro partner Kier Davidson, who regularly makes the trip down to Leeds to practice.
The newest recruit out of the selected athletes is Emma Sharpley, 19, who will be competing in the 17-21 women’s double mini trampoline event and is the current reserve for the senior women’s World Championships.
“Emma moved here about two and a half years ago to push her performance and start taking her sport to the next level,” added May.
Still a young club in the eyes of many, Leeds Rebound Gymnastics is on a mission to get young people into trampolining with the same energetic attitude which led May to spend his University money on a hopeful start-up.
“Our priority with all the athletes who come to the club is longevity,” he said. “We want people to be involved with the sport at whatever level they are at for as long as possible and to enjoy it,” said May. The non-for-profit club has a history of trampolining success, with 25 gymnasts competing at Elite British Championships in 2019 and a further five representing Great Britain at international level.
May hopes that the club can expand on this achievement in the future and is grateful to have witnessed so many young athletes excelling in the sport they love.
“The jobs that me, the other coaches and the support staff do is so minimal in the athletes journey,” said May.
“Ninety-nine per cent of what they’ve achieved is all the effort that they’ve put in and I’m just really thankful that I’ve been able to be a part of their success.”
For details visit about Leeds Rebound Gymnsatics Club, visit: www.leedsreboundgymnastics.co.uk or email: [email protected]