Gymnastics has always been a love of mine and, as a sport, I’ve campaigned for it to be more widely available to more people. When I found out, then, that Europe’s biggest indoor trampolining park was opening about an hour’s drive from my house, you can imagine how excited I was. Within the first week of its opening, I went with my brother and Ben to Airspace, and we had the time of our lives. It was great to see literally hundreds of people embrace trampolining and trying their hand at a few basic gymnastics skills. There were a few, though, who turned up, leotards and all, baring their triple back-flips to the world and pushing themselves to try as many flips as possible.
Despite the range of ability, the message from the Airspace staff was simple: do not do something you know yourself you are not capable of.
I thought the message was relatively simple to understand: most people know where their abilities lie, and so, theoretically speaking, must know when to stop pushing their bodies to what they’re not capable of. However, this week I was shocked to understand that more than 100 incidents, including broken necks and backs, have been reported after the opening of a new trampoline centre, Ryze, in Edinburgh. I don’t know what’s more appalling: the fact these people don’t know where their boundaries lie, or the reality that the staff on hand at this centre have let this injury-toll reach triple figures. An investigation is researching safety measures taken at Ryze, and quite rightly so. Gymnastics and trampolining are great fun, but if people either don’t know their limits or the correct safety measures aren’t in place, then who knows how fatal the consequences could be?