Trampolining champion’s advice to Wirral bounceathon team
Team GB gymnast Luke Strong visited Birkenhead today to give advice to a group of charity workers about to embark on a 25-hour trampolining marathon.
At 12 midday on Sunday 2 April, a team of eight staff from Wirral-based Autism Together will begin their bounceathon, hoping to create a new Guinness World Record in trampolining. The event is being held to mark World Autism Awareness Day.
Luke, a British and European trampolining champion, lives and trains in Liverpool. He grew up in Wirral and had PE lessons at The Drill gym in Grange Road West, the gym hosting Sunday’s bounceathon.
He said, “I fell in love with trampolining in this very gym when I was eleven. Now it’s a career and I get to do it every day.
“My advice to the bounceathon team is to conserve energy: don’t bounce too high early on in the challenge. They’ll need to keep eating carbs to keep their energy levels high and they’ll need to eat sugar between 2am and 4am as they’ll feel very tired. Most of all, though, they need to remember why they are doing this – to raise awareness of a very good cause – and have a laugh along the way.”
The team members will take turns doing twenty minute stints on the trampoline. Luke said, “I’ve never trampolined for twenty minutes. It sounds very tiring! I usually bounce for a minute or two and it’s all about the height I achieve. We even use lasers to measure how long we’ve been in the air and how high we jump.” Luke trains for between 28 and 34 hours per week and is hoping to be part of Team GB for the World Championships in Bulgaria in November.
Autism Together supports over 450 people on the autism spectrum. In 2014 a grant of over £180,000 from Sport England’s Inclusive Fund enabled the charity to set up a trampolining scheme for people on the autism spectrum, based at The Drill. The scheme has since enabled 70 adults each week the chance to have fun and keep fit by bouncing.
Autism Together’s Emma Crabb, bounceathon organiser and a member of the bouncing team, said, “Having Luke supporting our event has really boosted our morale. We’re looking forward to the challenge and hope we’re successful with the world record attempt. Thank you Luke – it all seems much more real now.”
To support the bouncing team, text BOUN25 £5 to 70070.