Trampoline performers fly high at Big E's Connecticut Day
By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Region - posted Fri., Sep. 23, 2011
The Big E in West Springfield, Mass., represents a sort of homecoming for trampoline competitor Sean Kennedy. Kennedy, a native of Holland, Mass., has been competing with the Trampoline Place of Plainfield and the Airtime Trampoline Team for six years, and even went to Amsterdam to try out for the Olympic Games, where trampoline competition is recognized as an Olympic sport.
“A lot of people don’t realize it’s a sport in the Olympics,” said Kennedy, who performed on Sept. 21 in front of the Connecticut building at the Big E. The Trampoline Place has been performing in front of the building for nearly 13 years on Connecticut Day, in an effort to show what the small gym out of Plainfield can do, and how much fun athletic competition can be for interested youths.
“This is a great opportunity for us to get some exposure and for people to see something they don’t normally get to see,” said Trampoline Place owner and founder Bill Young. “We have many kids and teenagers involved with our competition teams, and we like to bring them here to show what they have learned and entertain the people.”
Young said that on Connecticut Day, he included students of the gym that were from Connecticut, in order to promote the special day dedicated to the state. There were three shows during the day, including one by Kennedy, who has also appeared recently on the “Late Show with David Letterman.” Other performances included teams and multi-faceted feats, from simple trampoline jumping for height to flips, back-flips, twists, turns and stunts.
Young said the participants also spent time talking with children who came into the building and answering their questions about the sport. They educated visitors about the safety aspects of the sport and what skills are needed to be able to perform the stunts they do on the trampolines.
Trampoline competitors are entrenched in competition and train regularly. They participate in local, national and even international competitions, Young said.
The Airtime Trampoline Team boasts five Level 10 national champions. They work toward training athletes to do triple flips while in mid-air.