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Rising Star: Billy Keenan, trampolinist

All Areas > Sport > Trampolining

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Thursday, 28th November 2019, 09:00

Billy Keenan is supported by CASS & Friends Billy Keenan is supported by CASS & Friends

Billy Keenan is, quite literally, jumping for joy.

That’s because young Billy is a top trampolinist, someone who has already competed in English and British championships.

And the sky really is the limit for the 14-year-old Balcarras School pupil as he revels in the opportunity to be a major player in what is a minority sport.

“I like doing a sport that not many other kids at school do,” said Billy, who lives in Charlton Kings. “I like the challenge of trampolining – the shapes you have to make, the height you have to get to.

“I also love the Double Mini Trampoline (DMT) which is another discipline that requires a run-up and lots of power and takes place on a smaller trampoline that is sloped one side.

“You run onto it, do a move on and then do a further move on dismount – it’s a bit like the vault in gymnastics.

“Trampolining is a really good sport and it’s something that’s been personal to me since I was bouncing around on a garden trampoline when I was young.”

Billy has come a long, long way since those early days – “I used to bounce on anything I could find,” he laughed – and the hope is that the success that he has already achieved will act as a springboard for further honours in the weeks, months and years ahead.

So what makes a good trampolinist?

“You need good height, flexibility and spatial awareness,” explained Billy. “If something goes wrong while you are jumping you need to alter your body shape while staying safe, trampolining can be dangerous if you are not supervised properly.

“You need good core strength and upper body strength to make the shapes and get the height required.”

Billy clearly has all those attributes and more and has certainly been making a name for himself. He’s also won in Holland representing England, and while winning is great – everyone likes to win! – that’s not the be-all and end-all for Billy, who came across extremely well when he spoke to The Local Answer in what was his first ever interview.

While admitting that it would be “absolutely amazing” to compete in the Olympics – trampolining became an Olympic sport in 2000 – he says that first and foremost he just loves the sport.

“I just love to be in the sport,” he said. “As long as I’m having fun and it keeps me fit. I do enjoy the competitive side of the sport but we’ll just have to see how far I can go.”

He’s already achieved an awful lot, of course, and while his obvious talent and determination have had a lot to do with that he’s had plenty of help along the way as well.

“Aspire Springers and CASS and Friends have been huge for Billy,” said his mum Lisa. “He joined Aspire Springers, now based in Bentham, when he was eight or nine and the coaches there are amazing.

“The club are run by volunteers and the coaches’ commitment is incredible. They are all so experienced, they’ve done so much for Billy.”

And Lisa is also very grateful to the support they have received from CASS and Friends, the charitable organisation that is dedicated to helping athletes aged 12 to 18 living in and around the Cotswolds to reach the top in their particular sport by offering them financial support.

Lisa admits that she had no idea that trampolining would become such a big part of their lives when she took Billy and his younger brother James to a trampoline taster session at Leisure at Cheltenham all those years ago.

She also admits that she’s no good at the sport herself but she’s certainly impressed by those who are.

“Your body condition and flexibility is crucial,” she said. “I think in terms of fitness it’s really underestimated just how fit you need to be to do trampolining.”

Other Images

Billy Keenan in action

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