Wight Tricks Academy in Cowes is one of three that exist of its kind in the country. Inspired by a trampoline it has grown into an energetic hub of Island teenage ‘trickery’.
What is ‘tricking’?
It is a freestyle physical discipline of ‘tricks’ that involves kicks, flips and twists with elements of breakdance, martial arts, freerunning, acrobatics and gymnastics.
‘Cart-dub, ‘sailor-moon’ and ‘back-tuck’ are all types of ‘tricks’.
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“It takes the hardest aspects of every sport and puts it into one” according to Catherine Dancy, assistant coach at Wight Tricks Academy.
180 trickers (children) take part every week, with 300 on the waiting list, three teachers run the classes – which some children attend 12 hours a week.
There are adult classes as well as junior and senior ones and many have competed at competition level already.
One of the youngest, Cameron Churchill, 10, told Isle of Wight Radio:
“I was on a trampoline one day and I thought, I quite like doing this and I just carried on and now I’m here.”
“The kids are amazing and deserve to be doing more”
The Academy opened in April 2018 and is fully equipt with a spring floor, airtrick, trampoline, gymnastics training aids and parkour equipment.
Robbie Bates, from the Isle of Wight, is the owner and head coach at Wight Trix Academy, he told Isle of Wight Radio:
“It started a very very long time ago when I was quite young and I didn’t have any facilities or anything like that. I was self-taught.
“I did a lot of sports but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I had a trampoline in my back garden and I learnt from there and as I got stronger – it went from there.”
“The level of our kids is really really great – which we are really happy about”
“We find that our kids get very good at sport because the conditioning to be able to do tricking is high level, you have to be super strong, flexible and mobile.”
Robbie has a sports science degree and all of the staff are trained and DBS checked.
Katherine Dancy, the assistant coach, told Isle of Wight Radio:
“We work really hard in making sure the kids are enjoying themselves and have the freedom to practice what they want – they all have their own style which is awesome.”
“I hope it goes from strength to strength”
Parent Ian Boyd, told Isle of Wight Radio:
“It’s given him [my son] an amazing outlet for his energy as a 16-year-old, a group of mates and a focus, I think what they have achieved here is something quite extraordinary… they are just to be congratulated.
“They have gone from hiring a school hall to a purpose-built teaching centre… this is a very rare resource, tricking is a growing sport – for the Isle of Wight, this is really big stuff.
”It’s not just brilliant for the children who come here, it’s brilliant for the Island too and I hope it goes from strength to strength.”
Wight Tricks survives on a grant from the Isle of Wight Rural Fund to provide equipment, contracts, and future staff training.
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