Susie Grynol and John Craig attended the provincial trampoline championships March 27-29 in Ottawa, hosted by the Spring Action Trampoline Club there.
Some 160 athletes from all over the province participated by receiving a qualifying provincial score of 30.0 or novice national score of 46.5 at the regional qualifiers.
Craig, our local trampoline coach, placed third in the province at the male novice national level for the bronze medal while Grynol placed seventh in the province at the female novice national level.
Both also received qualifying scores to attend the national championships in Montreal on May 13-18.
Qualifying for the national team also makes them eligible for the national age group competition, which will be held at the University of Montreal just before the nationals.
Those placing at NAGS would compete in Australia in October. But athletes must make a firm commitment before they compete or lose the money they paid up front. Since this is a large commitment, financially and training wise, the pair decided to compete only at the national championships next month.
The Fort Frances Trampoline Club is proud of its athletes and excited to know it can produce athletes as good as any in the province given the opportunity.
Six other athletes from the local club also had qualified for the provincials but were unable to attend due to financial reasons or other commitments.
Craig and Grynol, accompanied by Betty Grynol, the club’s coaching co-ordinator drove to Winnipeg and then flew to Ottawa last Thursday. Friday night was spent watching the “synchro” competition. We didn’t participate because you need two athletes the same size and level (one for each trampoline).
The Fort Frances club has only one “Hot Bed” trampoline so the kids can’t practice “synchro” here.
Saturday was the preliminaries. Both Grynol and Craig qualified for the finals on Sunday but only the preliminary scores were used to calculate the ranks for funding for the national team.
The best part was watching world champion Chris Mitruk compete on trampoline. From Burlington, Ont., he is very down-to-earth and has super personality. He also is a wonderful coach and gave all the kids constructive criticism.
All the athletes are looking forward to watching Mitruk compete in Montreal against all of Canada.
Lisa Colussi, the world silver medalist on double mini tramp, also is from Burlington and competed Sunday afternoon but we didn’t get to see her compete because we had to catch our plane back to Winnipeg.
“It’s too bad Winnipeg folded because distance is a real problem for our club as it is with all sports in Northwestern Ontario,” noted Betty Grynol.
Three years ago, Winnipeg had two clubs and hosted the Mid-Canada Cup Competition and the Canadian national championships. It was close and our club enjoyed participating.
“We can train the athletes but if we can’t raise the money for them to travel, it is pretty discouraging for the kids,” Grynol said.
The province will fund 40 percent of the cost for the top two athletes in each category and that is it. With cutbacks, it is becoming more and more difficult for athletes to develop their talents.
Trampoline is an up and coming sport. It’s fun and challenging, and it’s not as hard on the body as artistic gymnastics.
Two dozen spots (12 men and 12 women) have been set aside for trampoline at the Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia in 2000.
They will be selected based on their rankings at the 1999 world trampoline championships in Durban, South Africa.
We hope to see Mitruk there to represent Canada.