MIDWAY Point local Luan Smit, pictured, has travelled to the Netherlands to compete against some of the top trampolinists in the world at the Dutch Open.
The fifteen-year-old was part of a six person Kingborough Gymnastics Club team coached by Ben Kelly that competed in the club-based trampolining tournament in Alkmaar.
The Dutch Open attracts trampoline gymnasts from all over the world, including Olympic hopefuls and aspiring juniors from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the Netherlands.
Mr Kelly said the competition was about providing first time experience to a new generation of international trampoline gymnasts and Luan was identified as part of this next up and coming cycle of junior trampolinists.
“Since there are no World Age Championships this year, we devised our own opportunity to send a team to the Dutch Open to provide some experience for up and coming trampoline gymnasts,” he said.
“When we selected the team in the middle of last year, Luan was working towards some of the bigger skills on the trampoline and he had demonstrated a commitment to working through that process and put them in combination with other skills.”
Mr Kelly said trampoline gymnasts required a number of skills to succeed, including a willingness to learn, patience, lack of fear, good cardio, strong core and a drive for perfectionism.
“It was an increase in his skills repertoire and that seemed to align quite nicely with the next couple of years moving towards other events like the Indo-Pacific Championships at the end of this year and the World Age Championships in 2021,” he said.
Luan, who won the bronze medal at the 2019 Australian Gymnastics Championships in junior under 17 individual trampoline, said he had been doing five sessions a week of training to work on his skills and routines.
“I’m was looking forward to being able to experience a competition outside Australia because it’s my first time competing in anything outside Australia,” he said.
Luan has been doing trampolining for about six years and said he started doing it at his brother’s second grade birthday.
“It’s unlike any other sports that are just running or kicking – trampolining has a lot of flips and cool stuff,” he said.