How Trampolines Can Be Used In Competition
The first competitions were held in colleges and schools inthe USA and then in Europe, with the first WorldChampionships being held in London in 1964. Kurt Baechlerof Switzerland and Ted Blake of England were the Europeanpioneers and the first ever televised NationalChampionships were in England in 1958.
Soon after the first World Championships, the inauguralmeeting of prominent trampolinists was held in Frankfurt toexplore the formation of an International TrampolineFederation. In 1965 in Twickenham, the Federation wasformally recognised as the International governing body forthe sport.
By 1969, the first European Championship was held in Parisand Paul Luxon of London was the winner at the age of 18.The ladies winner was Ute Czech from Germany. From thattime onwards, European and World Championships have takenplace in alternate years-the European in the odd and theWorld in the even.
At first, the Americans dominated the World Championships,but due to many lawsuits over trampolining, less wasallowed in educational institutions and the high level ofperformance of the Americans went down. The Europeansgradually began to dominate the sport and in recent years,athletes from the former Soviet Union have almostcompletely dominated the sport.
Germany, France has been the other strong nations intrampolining and the first four ranking places in WorldTrampolining would go to USSR, France, Britain and Germany.Although in most countries trampolining started about thesame time in the fifties and sixties, some countries havenot been able to develop as strongly as the major Europeancountries.
In the US, it was quickly realised by the PhysicalEducators that the trampoline had something new to offer byobservation of the physical benefits which trampolining hadproduced during the war years and also the enthusiasm ofthose who participated, and trampolining was introducedinto school physical education programmes.
There were, of course, the detractors who felt that theactivity was dangerous and reduced the strength of the legsbecause the springs assisted the jumping. However, thethreshold of skill is low so that almost anyone of any agecan get on and do something which is fun, exhilarating,aerobically effective, and caters for the highest level ofskill and daring which some are capable of.
It is particularly popular amongst the very young, who nowhave something better than their parents' double bed tojump upon; although many parents complain that the kidsjump even more on their beds to try to reproduce the funthey have in the gym. It is also a form of plyometrics-aform of strength training.
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