I was inspired to write this blog in part to inform everyone that anyone can try trampoline but also to let you know about Izzy Weall. Izzy won the National Schools competition this year (for her age and disability category). Izzy unfortunately contracted meningitis age 6 and lost both legs and arms to the illness, however that doesn’t stop her! I saw her compete in the qualifiers and took so much inspiration for life from her wonderful performance. If you want to do something, do it, don’t waste time fearing you won’t be any good or you won’t be able to do it. If you truly want to do something you can.
There are only a very few disabilities that stop people being able to take part in trampoline. In fact, there are coaching course dedicated to teaching people with disabilities trampoline. There is sometimes a need for extra equipment to facilitate getting the person on and off the trampoline and if in a wheelchair, once on the trampoline, but generally everyone and anyone can have a go!
There are many different techniques coaches can use to allow people with physical disabilities to take part. One of the most common is for a push-in mat to be placed on top of the trampoline with the person either sitting or lying down whilst the coach stabilises the person and makes the trampoline move. If the person has enough core stability to progress on from this stage, seat bouncing on their own is encouraged. The new sensation that bouncing brings is almost always received with delighted. Some people are nervous at first but on the whole the majority enjoy it.
In my experience trampoline is brilliant for people with mental disabilities. At Charnwood we have a larger percentage of pupils with mental disabilities than physical and we find that trampoline allows pupils to find a way to vent any frustrations in a controlled way. It is also a very fun way to increase self-esteem. As pupil’s skills improve, so does their confidence which is transferable to day to day life. It is also a brilliant way to push personal boundaries, as skills improve more difficult moves are attempted and this can be a very scary experience. However, I truly believe that facing your fears and mastering them (as in some cases i.e my rudi – forward somersault with 1.2 twists – mastering is defiantly the word, it took a year!) help make you a more rounded person and allows you, more easily to try new things and be brave in general.
What disability may prevent me from taking part in trampoline?
If you have any form of rod (including the tiny ones that keep blood vessels open) in your body it is not recommend that you trampoline, as the forces involved could move the rod. Also if you have very poor ankle or neck stability it is not recommend to fully bounce trampoline, however disability classes could still be suitable. If you have any questions please contact your local club, they will be able to help, or feel free to Contact Me.
If you are interested in taking part and have a disability www.reboundtherapy.org is a really great website that offers a lot of great information and classes.
Thanks for reading, well done Izzy!!!