MORE than 800 competitors converged on Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena last week to determine who was the best in Britain, and Orbit Milton Keynes came home with two national champions.
Nine trampolinists from Orbit were representing the city at the National Trampoline Championships – a great achievement in itself having all produced the goods earlier this year in order to qualify for the competition.
Now the aim was to test themselves on the national stage – and four Orbit members picked up medals. The club’s team of nine was Cara Stubbs, Martyn Howard, Thomas Johnson, Rebekah Bridge, Roisin O’Brien, Dayle Walker, Hollie Leung, Lewis Wheeler and Hogan Leung.
The tension of the occasion was tremendous, and nerves were jangling, but all managed to fulfil their routines well. In some groups there were 40 competitors, so medals would be hard to take.
In the U17 girls, Dayle Walker pegged her way up from a terrific 4th place on the Saturday to 3rd on the Sunday and a well deserved spot in the limelight, taking the bronze medal after wowing the judges and audience.
In the U15 boys Lewis Wheeler pulled out a spectacular routine to move from 5th place on Saturday to 2nd on Sunday, giving him the silver medal.
However, team-mate and close rival Hogan Leung went one better, rising from 3rd place to 1st by just one tenth of a mark, pulling out a marvellous routine to take the gold medal and title of 2011 British champion.
And there was still more to come in the form of Thomas Johnson who went into the lead on Saturday and began Sunday with everything to lose. Having given the best performance in the U19s on Saturday, he produced an even better show on Sunday, leaving his rivals more than a whole mark in his wake to take the title.
Orbit coach Russ Jackman praised his team for over achieving on the big stage, saying: “It was a great weekend for the performers, their parents and coaches, but they needed the encouragement of our supporters who were all highly appreciated. Thanks to everyone.
“What’s remarkable is that we train on ‘yesterday’s’ equipment and desperately need competition standard equipment. These don’t come cheaply and we need sponsorship, funding, or a grant to help. If there is anybody out there who can help please call us on MK 313048.”