Redevelopment has been the focus of the Trampoline and Gymnastics Club this year. A large body of the club graduated in 2018, leaving president Ellis Kennedy determined to secure stability.
A focus has therefore been placed on the younger members of the club. Judges, coaches, and competitors alike all graduated, so current second years are being encouraged to fill those roles.
“It’s nice to win and it’s good to do well in competitions, but we were focused on the development side of things,” Kennedy explains.
BUCS doesn’t really encourage competition involvement anyway. There’s only one trampoline event a year, and BUCS points can only be earned at the highest level where Olympians compete.
The club doesn’t discourage aiming for that quality of competition, but it demands a lot for potentially little return.
Stirling instead prioritises the Scottish Gym League, consisting of four competitions a year, and other interesting events like the Irish Student Open. “It’s always a fun one,” says Kennedy, as “we can go away and compete somewhere else.”
The biggest success of the year comes from Kennedy herself, as she’s the current Scottish Student Sport’s Elite Ladies Champion.
It’s not all about competing though, as the Trampoline and Gymnastics Club host give-it-a-go sessions and other informal events. These are critical for recruitment, showing potential members that it’s great to get involved.
“It’s a very close club, and very fun,” says Kennedy. “You just get to bounce around and it’s such a good form of exercise as well.”
Kennedy also emphasises their desire to challenge potential misconceptions about Trampoline and Gymnastics. “I think people have a perception that it’s just for women, and that you have to have done gymnastics, or be flexible, but that’s not the case at all.”
Kennedy just wants people to go and enjoy themselves in a convivial club that emphasises inclusivity and a supporting environment.
This is another great focus for Trampoline and Gymnastics, who were eager to get involved with the Green Ribbon Campaign (a university effort to show support for mental health awareness).
Stirling University’s new Health and Well-Being Officer, Hope Murray, is a member of the club, and Kennedy is excited to see a strong connection between the two going forward.
“We’re trying to be very aware of the mental health aspect of sport,” she explains, and it’s something they’re instilling into the future of the club.
Member responsibility will also be a focus next year, to increase engagement and get more people involved, and “not just leaving everything to the committee,” Kennedy explains.
Positive change has already begun, like members seeking competitions themselves, and Kennedy hopes that will proliferate.
Gymnastics will also be built up next year, as she admits the club is currently a little imbalanced towards trampolining. The committee is “very keen to grow [gymnastics] to the same standard we have trampoline at already.”
These big plans are only possible through the rebuilding process of this year. Despite not focusing on wins, Kennedy has still accrued an elite title, and done so while developing Trampoline and Gymnastics into a sustainable society.
We’re bringing you season summary pieces for sports teams all across the university, so check back at 2PM every day for another edition of Bleed Green Round-Up.