High fliers take to world stage

Curtis Booth and Jayden Cooney are soaring, aided by their coach Tony Burton (bottom). www.communitypix.com.au d410360
Curtis Booth and Jayden Cooney are soaring, aided by their coach Tony Burton (bottom). www.communitypix.com.au d410360

Curtis Booth and Jayden Cooney, both 16, were among 500 international athletes who travelled to Sofia in Bulgaria this week to compete in the competition.

Coach Tony Burton, the State’s only FIG judge, joined them as the first WA representative to judge at the world championship.

Burton, who has been judging for more than 30 years, said it was the pinnacle of his career and he was ‘chuffed’ with his students’ selection as well as his own.

‘I feel very honoured,’ he said. ‘At this level there is a judging panel who judges the judges, so there’s a lot of pressure and you have to get it right, but it’s exciting and a culmination of my professional development,’ he said.’

Curtis and Jayden will bounce up to seven metres while performing a sequence of double and triple somersaults, twists and rotations.

They will be judged on the degree of difficulty in their routine as well as their execution.

Jayden used to be an elite diver, but switched to trampoline after bursting her eardrum numerous times.

She performs a degree of difficulty, equivalent to senior world championship level, and maintains the highest degree of difficulty for a female on trampoline and double mini in WA.

‘I feel very privileged to represent my country,’ she said. ‘I am also very excited as it is my third international competition, but my first international trip,’ she said.’

Curtis, a former gymnast, turned to trampoline after he was injured.

He will perform a complex routine, consisting of triple flip, a half twist at the end and nine doubles flips, but is looking forward to competing at the world championships.

‘I am slightly nervous due to it being such a huge competition, but overall I am excited,’ he said.

The athletes train six times a week and have their sights set on the senior world championships.