Trampoline triumph earns place in national finals for Perse student
12 Feb 2019
Talented trampolinist James Able (Lower Sixth) is aiming to somersault to success at the British Schools Championships.
Victory at the Central Zone finals in Hatfield was enough to secure James’ spot in the British Schools Gymnastics Association national finals, which take place at Cannock on 2 March. He scored 27.40 and 32.95 points respectively from his two routines to record an overall total of 60.35 and take the boys’ Year 10-14 elite title by almost a point from the runner-up.
James said: “I’m very pleased. I felt confident going into the zone finals and after winning there, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to do well in the national finals as well.
“I had to do two routines, each with 10 moves within them. There are some guidelines on what you have to do and each routine is judged on how difficult it is. The more somersaults and twists you do, the harder it is and the more points you get.
“In the zone finals, I was going to do my first triple somersault in competition, but we didn’t have much time to warm up. I just went for an easier routine instead because they also mark you on your execution and I managed to get good scores. Hopefully, I’ll have more time to warm up at the nationals and I’d then aim to complete a triple. I don’t think anyone has completed a triple before in the schools competition.”
James hopes a strong display at the national schools finals could set the tone for forthcoming events, including the English Championships in April and NDP (national development pathway) competitions, which could lead to a place in the national team if he does well.
He spent time training with and watching members of the national squad in Liverpool over the Christmas period and said it had proved to be an eye-opener.
James said: “That was a really good experience. Obviously, they’re bouncing a lot higher than me and they’re a lot stronger, but they’re also older. It showed me the level I’ve got to reach.”