In double mini trampoline, gymnasts get just two bounces, so they need to make the most of them.
Nanaimo teens Blake Mould and Cassidy Bodnar have done just that and have earned the right to represent Canada this fall at the Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The two Nanaimo Gymnastics School athletes qualified for the world championships based on their results at the Canada Cup and Canadian championships. Mould, 17, had the best scores of any 17-21-year-olds, while Bodnar, 15, had the second-best scores among 15-16-year-olds.
Mould achieved senior national standards on the double mini and will become the youngest member of the senior national team for the discipline.
“When you’re in the younger age category, our standards in Canada make it really difficult for them to be able to qualify for senior as a junior,” said Megan Conway, Nanaimo Gymnastics School coach. “But he was able to up his difficulty and his consistency and was able to do that.”
Mould made it to age group worlds last year in Bulgaria and said he had a “really good experience there,” with a great atmosphere, friendly athletes and high-calibre competition. He placed 13th and was happy with that, but hopes to improve on it this year as he’s gotten better on the double mini.
“Just more difficulty, a lot cleaner skills, different combinations,” he said.
Bodnar moved over from artistic gymnastics to more of a trampoline and tumbling focus four years ago and has shown natural progression, said her coach, finding success provincially, then in Western Canada, then on the national stage and now making it to worlds.
Bodnar said she’s gotten better with her focus and if she continues to train hard and can stay injury-free, she said she has a chance to do well.
“For her age and how long she’s been doing trampoline for, she’s absolutely amazing at double mini. She’s crazy. She has amazing form and really good difficulty,” Mould said. “I’m super happy for her to be one of the team members this year.”
A double mini trampoline is just one trampoline, but it’s angled with two jumping surfaces. Athletes approach at a run, perform a mount, a dismount, and try to stick the landing.
Mould and Bodnar are training about 20 hours a week with infrequent breaks, though they’re working on other disciplines besides the double mini, too, as Canada Games trials are coming up.
“We already had a high level of skill, so we’ve mostly been maintaining that and just refining some of the skills,” Conway said. “And then in the next month, we’ll probably up a little bit more intensity on that event to prepare.”
The competition is Nov. 14-18. Nanaimo Gymnastics School will be asking for community support with fundraisers for the trip; search for the club’s Facebook page for information.