Independence will see trampolinists come on in leaps and bounds

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Dragon Flyers Trampoline Club are looking forward to an exciting future this year after making the switch to become a financially-independent club, which will allow them greater control to expand and excel.

The Bognor outfit maintain a close partnership with the Arena Sports centre, with access to its top-class facilities within the brand-new Regis School complex.

The four high-performance professional trampolines are now located in a purpose-built hall fitted out with an advanced training rig, consisting of three belts including a twisting belt, allowing safe training of particularly complex moves, such as double somersaults with twists.

The club continue to maintain their British Gymnastics-accredited Gym Mark and Sport England’s Club Mark recognitions and their ‘community club’ emphasis, via links to many local primary and secondary schools.

These include the Regis School and Rose Green Juniors who, for yet another year, enjoyed success at the regional leg of the British Schools Trampoline Championships.

Both schools just missed out on medals at the zonal round this January, held on the Isle of Wight.

Mercedes Hulburd, Natalie Pullen and Kimberley Setchell achieved a very respectable fourth place for The Regis School in the under-15 girls’ elite team competition. Meanwhile, James Porter (RGJ) also took fourth place in the under-11 boys’ elite individual group.

Head coach Linda O’Leary said this was no mean feat as the entrants were up against the best the schools could offer from across the south of England, so the standard was very high.

While there is a lot of focus on youngsters, with members as young as five, the club have a growing number of adult members too. The club are inclusive and boast qualified coaches including two level-four and special-needs coaches.

Members compete regularly at regional club events, often reaching national level as well as achieving frequent successes in the British Schools Championships.

O’Leary is extremely happy with the new organisation, saying: “We’re so fortunate to have this wonderful facility, which helps us to raise our standards and the self-esteem of these terrific kids and lets us bring in new talent whilst training all abilities.”

Club secretary and qualified judge Sharon Porter said: “We have a group of coaches who love training kids but we also have the experience to successfully push older trampolinists up to international standard.

“With the youngsters especially, we recognise positive encouragement does the job every time and that is proven by the club’s regular successes, despite the relatively few hours our members train, compared to many other clubs.”

Anyone interested in joining can go to www.dragonflyers-club.co.uk or call 01243 264069.