Trampoline stars triumph at nationals

Team overcomes challenges to continue success





Bouncing, twisting, and tumbling their way to success, all five of Central Hawke’s Bay’s Ricochet members were proud to medal at the 2022 New Zealand Gymnastics Championships at the ILT Stadium Invercargill over the first week of the school holidays. That’s now three national titles, three seconds, and three successful qualification attempts for consideration for the New Zealand Trampoline and Tumbling Team, who will attend the World Championships and World Age Group Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria in November. These nationals didn’t come without their challenges — cancelled flights, and sickness setbacks. But team members Lachie Kirk, Kegan Kirk, Kerrin Harrison, Caitlin Kirk and Charlie Laird managed to avoid the issues and make it to a chilly Invercargill safely, to be warmly greeted along with their other Hawke’s Bay/ Poverty Bay Regional Team members from Gisborne. It proved to be a lethal combination at these championships. Charlie Laird and Jaxon Pardoe (Gisborne) combined to win the Synchronised national title (11 to 12yrs) and Kegan Kirk and Kerrin Harrison also came 1st in Synchronised (15 to 16yrs). Lachie Kirk was the other national title winner, doing so tumbling in Senior International. Dominance in Tumbling won Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay the Top Region Tumbling Trophy, a first for the region. Not only did the team bring home the Top Region Tumbling Trophy, but North Island also won the Cook Strait Trophy against the South Island, and Ricochet got to bring it home this year. The team says it owes “a huge thank you” to Phillipa Wright Wool Merchant who first stepped up to help out 2010, and in the lead-up to Nationals made their building available so Ricochet could put two of its tumble tracks together and the kids could complete all their tumbling passes in full, making a big difference to the results as both times — in 2010 and 2022 — Ricochet came out winners. Ricochet also thanks Rural Accountants Hawke’s Bay, Aonet Rural Broadband and the Rotary Club Waipukurau who were extremely generous with their donations towards the travel, accommodation and entry fees for the competition, and to the community, who also helped by buying raffle tickets. Lachie qualified in all three disciplines; trampoline, double-mini and tumbling, and is eligible to attend the World Championships and World Age Group Championships. Lachie is now awaiting confirmation — only the top four athletes of each discipline will be selected. His results don’t truly reflect how well Lachie did. After winning in tumbling, he was also leading easily in senior double-mini, until an error in his final pass cost him another title. Also, in senior trampoline in a flight of 12 competitors, Lachie was placed 3rd in the first round, behind the leader Olympic medallist Dylan Schimdt, but could not complete his routine in the finals. Regardless of his result, Lachie put in a fantastic effort and has proved himself an athlete to watch out for, especially competing on all apparatus at the highest level. Results: Lachie Kirk (Senior International): ■ Synchro — 5th (with Jack West from Waikato) Trampoline — 8th and a World Age Group Qualification Double-Mini — 8th and a World Open Qualification Tumbling — 1st and a World Age Group Qualification. Kegan Kirk (15-16yrs): Synchro — 1st (with Kerrin) Trampoline — 4th Double-Mini — 2nd Caitlin Kirk (13-14yrs): Synchro — 2nd (15-16yrs with Tegan Hayward) Trampoline — 10th Double-Mini — 2nd Tumbling — 4th Kerrin Harrison (15-16yrs): Synchro — 1st (with Kegan) Trampoline — 7th Double-Mini — 7th Charlie Laird (11-12yrs): Synchro — 1st (with Jaxon Pardoe) Trampoline — 6th Double-Mini — 9th