Richard’s Trampoline Club was formed from AllSaints Trampoline Club and part of Alpha Trampoline Club.
Kyrstin Fairweather formed AllSaints Trampoline Club in 1996 at Letchworth Leisure Centre. To begin with it was an adult only club as the only training time available was 9pm once a week. At the time Kyrstin was a trampolinist herself competing for Potton Saints – hence the name! In 1999 Kyrstin retired from competitive trampolining and concentrated on developing AllSaints and more classes were introduced at Letchworth Leisure Centre, which now included classes for children from 7 years old. In 2000 Andrea Allen joined the club and started classes in Stevenage teaching children from 5 years old. Soon after Debbie Ridgway also joined the club, having shortly returned from coaching in America for 2 years. In 2001 Richard Fairweather started classes in Hitchin, these proved extremely popular and Hitchin soon became one of our largest venues.
Kama Langham formed Alpha Trampoline Club in 1997 at Flitwick Leisure Centre. Kama was previously a gym coach so already was very experienced with the sport. In 1998 Richard Fairweather and Greg Royle joined forces with Alpha and classes were introduced at Biggleswade Recreation Centre and Sandy Sports Centre. Greg was previously a Grade 1 National finalist, so he brought with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. Richard also had extensive experience and technical knowledge of the more advanced skills.
In the summer of 2002 AllSaints merged with Richard Fairweather and Greg Royle from Alpha to become Marriott’s Trampoline Club. This was to run alongside Marriott's Gymnastics Club and to mark the opening of Marriott’s Gym Centre in Stevenage, which is a purpose built gym with state of the art equipment. Richard gave up his job to become a full-time coach for the club, and many new classes were planned.
However in October 2002 disaster struck and Richard Fairweather was killed in a tragic accident. The club was then renamed Richard's Trampoline Club, in the memory of Richard and to mark his dedication to the club.
In January 2006 Pat Dodson joined the club from Potton Saints, to coach the elite section of the club. Both of Pat's sons compete at Grade 1 and have competed Internationally, so Pat's a greatly experienced coach and is a real asset to the club.
The club continued to grow considerably in size, so to make things more manageable the Hitchin section of the club formed their own club in September 2006.
Richard’s Trampoline Club currently has 2 different training venues in Letchworth and Stevenage. All ages and standards are catered for and the club enters Regional competitions on a regular basis. To place your name on the waiting list please contact Kyrstin.
The History Of Trampolining
By Rob Walker
Extracted from Bounce 2000 information booklet
It has been said that the Eskimos, who used to toss each other up into the air on a Walrus skin, did the first type of trampolining. Something like the sheet used by firemen to catch people jumping out of the windows of houses, which were on fire. In Anchorage airport, Alaska, there are postcards depicting the Eskimos being tossed up in a Walrus skin.
There also is some evidence of people in England being tossed up into the air by a number of people holding a blanket. These may or may not be the true origins of the sport of trampolining but it is certain that in the early years of the 20th century there were stage acts, which used a "bouncing bed" on the stage to amuse audiences. The bouncing bed was in reality a form of a small trampoline covered by bedclothes, on which the acrobats performed mostly comedy routines.
The trampoline itself, according to circus lore, was first developed by an artist called Du Trampolin who saw the possibility of using the trapeze safety net as a form of propulsion and landing device and experimented with different systems of suspension, eventually reducing the net to a practical size for a separate performance.
In the early 1930s, one George Nissen made a trampoline in his garage and used it to help with his diving and tumbling activities. He then felt that he could entertain audiences and also let them participate in his demonstrations. Thus were the beginnings of a new sport.
World War II
During World War II, the United States Navy Flight School developed the use of the trampoline in its training of pilots and navigators, giving them concentrated practice in orientation such as had never been possible before. After the war, the development of the Space Flight programme again brought the trampoline into use to help train both American and Soviet Astronauts, giving them experience of variable body positions in flight.
The nature of the activity is natural, easy and rhythmical, and the power of the bed enables participants to have fun and excitement by jumping higher than they would normally be able and to perform many skills landing on the feet, seat, front and back and also to take off from those varied landing positions.
In the USA it was quickly realised by the Physical Educators that the trampoline had something new to offer by observation of the physical benefits, which trampolining had produced during the war years and also the enthusiasm of those who participated, and trampolining was introduced into school physical education programmes.
There were of course the detractors who felt that the activity was dangerous and reduced the strength of the legs because the springs assisted the jumping. However, the threshold of skill is low so that almost anyone of any age can get on and do something which is fun, exhilarating, aerobically effective, and caters for the highest level of skill and daring which some are capable of. It is particularly popular amongst the very young, who now have something better than their parents' double bed to jump upon, although many parents complain that the kids jump even more on their beds to try to reproduce the fun they have in the gym. It is also a form of plyometrics - the latest form of strength training.
The first competitions were held in colleges and schools in the USA and then in Europe, with the first World Championships being held in London in 1964. Kurt Baechler of Switzerland and Ted Blake of England were the European pioneers and the first ever-televised National Championships were in England in 1958.
Soon after the first World Championships, the inaugural meeting of prominent trampolinists was held in Frankfurt to explore the formation of an International Trampoline Federation. In 1965 in Twickenham, the Federation was formally recognised as the International Governing Body for the sport. By 1969 the first European Championship was held in Paris and Paul Luxon of London was the winner at the age of 18. The ladies winner was Ute Czech from Germany. From that time onwards, European and World Championships have taken place in alternate years - the European in the odd and the World in the even.
At first the Americans dominated the World Championships, but due to many lawsuits over trampolining, less was allowed in educational institutions and the high level of performance of the Americans went down. The Europeans gradually began to dominate the sport and in recent years athletes from the former Soviet Union have almost completely dominated the sport. Germany, France have been the other strong nations in trampolining and the first four ranking places in World Trampolining would go to USSR, France, Britain and Germany. Although in most countries trampolining started about the same time in the fifties and sixties, some countries have not been able to develop as strongly as the major European countries.