INDIANAPOLIS, April 24, 2014 – The USA Gymnastics Trampoline Development Center program, which debuted in 2013, will identify a total of six clubs in 2014 to become Trampoline Development Centers, and the next two clubs that will become part of this development program have been identified. Gymfinity of Fitchburg, Wis., and Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex of Williamsburg, Va., join the previously named Oconee Gymnastics & Cheer in Watkinsville, Ga., and Montgomery County Sports Performance Center in Harleysville, Pa., as 2014 selected clubs. The final two clubs for 2014 will be announced in July, and applications are currently being accepted.
“The goal of the Trampoline Development Center program is to develop interest and growth in this discipline, and these goals are being achieved,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “In each instance, the TDC clubs added trampoline programs, which resulted in gyms in their local areas also adding trampoline to their curriculum. The current TDCs have hosted free workshops for other local area gyms during the support period, as well as brought enthusiasm and growth into each state’s overall participation.”
Gymfinity’s Stephanie Orkowski said, “For several years, we have offered trampoline and tumbling classes to our clients. Through this opportunity, we are confident we can take our current program to the next level of excellence. The training experience available to our staff is priceless. Our ultimate goal is to show other clubs in Wisconsin how fun and easy it is to offer trampoline and tumbling in their gym and become a resource for those who want to start a program like this.”
Natalie Barnett, the gymnastics director at Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex, said, “WISC has so many talented children in our tumbling classes, as well as on our T&T club and pre-team. This is an incredible opportunity to grow our trampoline and tumbling program for our WISC athletes. We look forward to learning from the experienced staff from USA Gymnastics and bringing a high quality program to the greater Williamsburg area.”
As part of the Trampoline Development Center (TDC) program, Joy Umenhofer, a member of the national trampoline coaching staff, makes three visits to each selected club to educate the gym, its coaches and athletes about trampoline. To complete the training program and earn the Trampoline Development Center designation, the selected gymnastics clubs host training sessions for coaches, athletes and officials; select a club trampoline team; and stage a local trampoline competition. The TDC program’s format provides clubs with the trampoline knowledge needed to establish and their programs by the conclusion of the third visit. All four of the TDC clubs from 2013 have entered athletes in competition and are hosting their own meet this spring.
When Umenhofer makes her three visits to the TDC clubs, she hosts clinics to educate club staff on scheduling, coaching and teaching trampoline, basic skills, conditioning and flexibility, and progressions; talent identification development programs; and interactive coach and athlete training sessions. Each club also receives marketing materials, operational guidelines and curriculum support. In addition, other clubs in the area are encouraged to attend the coach education sessions and learn about expanding their programming to include trampoline.
Umenhofer is a member of the USA Gymnastics national coaching staff for trampoline and tumbling and junior men. She has coached several trampoline and tumbling national and World Age Group champions, as well as placing athletes on all trampoline and tumbling developmental teams. Umenhofer, a former gym club owner, is currently the head trampoline and tumbling coach at Matrix.
Athletes of all ages and body types can enjoy and benefit from trampoline, which also enhances skill development across all gymnastics disciplines. Trampoline may also retain athletes who are looking for something different from gymnastics or need to adjust to accommodate outside scheduling challenges. Additionally, the artistic gymnastics and trampoline competitive seasons complement one another, which makes it is possible for an athlete to participate in both. Many gym clubs in the U.S. already have trampoline as part of their programming, which has proven to be very successful.