Olympic gymnast reaches for the stars at Infinite Air

Trampoline ace Katherine ‘Kat’ Driscoll joined Apollo club team members in a bouncing session after opening the UK’s largest trampoline and free running park in Durham.

Rubb Buildings Ltd helped bring Infinite Air Extreme Trampoline park and freerunning facility to life at Durham’s Soccarena, New Ferens Park.

The £600,000, 35,000sq ft centre officially opened its doors in July and welcomed visitors to try out more than 80 interconnected trampolines including dodgeball court areas and basketball lanes and the very popular ‘BagJump’.

Driscoll, 2012 Olympic Trampoline Gymnast for Team GB, 2013 Double World Champion and 2015 European Games silver medalist, was excited to join her team mates from Washington based Apollo at Infinite Air.

Kat said: “It’s so close, it’s ideal. I just wish we had something like this when I was a kid, then again my mum and dad would’ve never got me away from the place! It’s really cool. I have been to a couple of these centres, but this is the biggest I have seen.”

As she watched her younger Apollo Trampoline Club team mates try out the new competition standard trampolines she added: “This is brilliant for them. They work so hard and it is great to see them playing. There is not one person in here without a smile on their face. This is something the whole family can enjoy. Ten minutes of bouncing is equivalent to 30 minutes running – it’s great fun and bouncing makes people happy.”

Kat tried the 12m x 6m inflatable BagJump for the first time and described it as ‘very cool’. Then she showcased her jaw-dropping skills on the competition standard trampolines. This year Kat will be busy preparing the 2015 World Championships in November, which will take place in Denmark, and will guarantee eight places in Rio for the countries with the best performing gymnasts. Each country may have a maximum of two gymnasts. A further five places, for both sexes, will be the prize of the test event in Rio in April, 2016.

Durham based Coretech Sports Ltd approached Rubb to design, manufacture and install the indoor trampoline park framework and trampoline systems within the Soccarena facility, which was originally constructed by Rubb in 2004.

Rubb has also provided platforms, dodgeball and basketball equipment, netting and handrails for the trampoline park area.

“The park has been created for ‘big kids’ but it isn’t just for young people – it will be open to every age and physical ability,” said Coretech co-owner Richard Knowles. “From open jump and dodgeball leagues to birthday parties and corporate events, there’s going to be something for everyone.”

The main trampoline arena includes a ‘fast track’, rebound walls and flat-padded sections along with interconnected individual trampolines for ‘free jumping’ and fitness sessions. Three ‘Slam Dunk’ basketball lanes have NBA standard backboards and hoops. Wall-running trampolines have been installed and individual coaching will be offered to help people improve their bouncing. Two enclosed dodgeball courts will be available to visitors as well as offering competitive league play. The park will also have a gymnastic ‘tricking and tumbling floor’ where people can learn new tricks. And there will a purpose built area dedicated to the modern sport of free running.