Preston teenager Jamie Gibney has become one of he Britain’s top trampolinists – despite not having a go at the sport until he was 12.
The 18-year-old spent six years as a gymnast before belatedly trying his hand at trampolining.
“At six-years-old I started my first gymnastics class. I started artistic gymnastics and I did that for four years and I got to national level,” he said.
“And then I started excelling in the floor apparatus so after artistic gymnastics I started doing tumbling.
“I did that for a couple of years and then by the age of 12, I started trampolining.”
And it’s a good job he did because he’s just become the only junior male to represent the senior Team GB squad at the World Championships next month in Tokyo.
“It’s really exciting, I’m absolutely over the moon,” said the Cardinal Newman pupil.
The youngster is first reserve for the senior squad at the Championships. While there, he will also compete in the double mini trampoline event – the type of trampolining Gibney specialises in – at the end of November with the junior team.
His selection comes after he achieved a silver medal at last month’s British Senior Championships in Birmingham.
His decision to commit his future to double mini trampolining came after Team GB selected him to represent his country three years ago.
Since then, he has competed in two World Championships, two British Senior Championships and one European Championship.
However the Team GB athlete insists there isn’t enough said about the sport he loves.
He said: “It definitely needs to be more recognised because normally it’s gymnastics that is more recognised whereas not a lot of people know it’s a competitive sport.
“People normally just see it as a garden trampoline, but I think people at schools should know about it because it’s a really good sport.”
Jamie credits many people in his life for his success, however his says his coach, Luke Strong, has been his biggest inspiration.
He added: “Luke is an elite trampoliner, he’s competed in many World Championships and he’s the idol that I look up to because he’s my coach and such a high-class trampoliner.”