Teen athletes have a spring in their step

Curtis Booth and Jayden Cooney are watched by coach Tony Burton ahead of the FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Championships.
Curtis Booth and Jayden Cooney are watched by coach Tony Burton ahead of the FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Championships.

Curtis Booth and Jayden Cooney, both 16, will be among 500 international contestants who will travel to Sofia, in Bulgaria, to compete in the major competition.

Their coach Tony Burton, the state’s only FIG judge, will be joining them as the first WA representative to judge at the world championship.

Curtis and Jayden will bounce up to seven meters in height while performing an impressive 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 is able to perform a degree of difficulty equivalent to senior world champion level and maintains the highest degree of difficulty for a female on both trampoline and double mini in WA.

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

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

Curtis will be performing a complex routine, consisting of a triple flip, a half twist at the end and nine double flips, but said he 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 young athletes train six times a week and both have their sights set on the senior world championships with the hope of eventually making it to the Olympics.

Mr Burton said WA’s representation on the world stage, highlights how much the sport has grown in the state.

‘It’s an exciting and dynamic sport, which is becoming very popular and it a symbol of the strength it has in WA,’ he said.