WA pair aim to fly high in Sofia

Curtis Booth and Jayden Cooney will be competing in the world trampoline championships where their coach, Tony Burton (bottom), will officiate as a judge. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d410360
Curtis Booth and Jayden Cooney will be competing in the world trampoline championships where their coach, Tony Burton (bottom), will officiate as a judge. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d410360

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

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

Mr 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.’

Curtis and Jayden will bounce up to seven metres in height, 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 tramp, after bursting her eardrum numerous times. She is able to perform a degree of difficulty, which is equivalent to senior world champion level, and also maintains the highest degree of difficulty for a female on both 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.’

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

He will be performing 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 young athletes train six times a week and both have their sights on the senior world championships with the hope of eventually making it to the Olympics.

Mr Burton says 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.’