As someone who viewed over four hours of intense trampoling activity, I feel I am somewhat of an expert on the subject. I think the sport deserves more respect than it gets, if for no other reason than the spectacular amount of chutzpah required to wear an extraordinarily tight, long-sleeved, spangly leotard. And don’t think the men escape, they were sporting rather upsettingly see-through white trousers although tried to reclaim some facet of manly-ness with a baggy, dark t-shirt.
The Lancaster girls, who seemed to make up most of the event, decided that t-shirts proclaiming “Rate our Moves on the Bed” were the fastest route to ensuring that the sport was taken seriously and they were treated as athletes. Still, points for their coordinated leotards and willingness to actually warm up. The York lot seemed to focus on cramming down chocolate from vending machines for energy, I suppose.
Although the novice and intermediate sections consisted mostly of awkward bouncing and over-zealous leg-slapping, the advanced and elite sections were actually pretty impressive. The sport requires a surprising amount of coordination and a willingness to throw yourself 10 feet in the air with nothing to save you but your own skill; land wrong and you could completely bugger your knees/back/neck. I’m told the most important thing when warming up is an attentive spotter. One of the Lancaster guys must not have been aware of this. He failed to catch his team mate because he was distracted by another girl trying to convince him to try on her leotard – the chat up line of choice for trampolinists everywhere.
Trampolining, surprisingly, lacks the organization of other Roses sports such as rugby or football. Most of the competitors were from Lancaster because, apparently, most of our team aren’t students and therefore can’t compete. The intermediate section was completely dominated by the other team because we didn’t have any people entered. Indeed, although there were 27 people entered, only the top three scores from each university are eligible for scores that count towards the final total.
Overall, my time in the dance studio, surrounded by lycra clad students and terrifying pieces of gym equipment was thoroughly amusing. Those who knew what they were doing were impressive while those that didn’t were funny. When asked to report on a completely irrelevant sport, could I ask for anything more?