Forgive my naivety but until this weekend I was oblivious to the popularity of trampolining at Lancaster. In fact, it wasn’t until I arrived at the sports centre amidst throngs of people that it became clear to me that the sport had come a long way since I was last on one myself, age six in my school gym.
Getting my head round the event, I learnt that there were six categories of difficulty ranging from novice to uber, the hardest category with just one Lancaster participant competing in it, and that competitors were marked on their execution of a ten-move sequence.
In true Lancaster spirt and sportsmanship, Lancaster trampolining club invited everyone who wished to and was able to compete to partake in the event. While York, on the other hand, hand-picked only their best individuals to compete, resulting in a noticeable disproportion of Lancaster to York students.
Despite strategic tactics from York, Lancaster presented winning performance after winning performance and went on to win 11 out of 16 medals: two in Novice, all three in Intermediate, two in Intervanced, two in Advanced, one in Elite and, unsurprisingly, one in Uber.
However, in a weird twist of fate, or should I say scoring, York bagged the all-important points for the event. The scores are worked out on average and as a result the bigger team almost inevitably loses. When it came down to the final scoring, York had fewer but higher marks to be counted, while Lancaster had a larger, wider range of results that resulted in a lower average. Consequently, the skewed scoring system meant York were up by 0.5 points in the lower categories and 2 points in the higher categories.
If ever Lancaster could argue that York set them up for a loss, now would definitely be the time. Fortunately we are Lancaster and we’re not quite that childish. Rather the club’s medal win is something to be proud of and captain of the team, Andie Forster, summed up the experience perfectly: “Even though we lost on paper everybody achieved so many personal goals, we’re just so proud and so happy to have taken home so many medals.” If that isn’t true sporting spirit I don’t know what is.