Blake Rutherford, Bastian Tinney and Patrick Cooper are heading to South Africa for an international trampoline competition. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Blake Rutherford, Bastian Tinney and Patrick Cooper are heading to South Africa for an international trampoline competition. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill

Trio reaching for top of world in South Africa at comp

HIGH-flyers Patrick Cooper and Bastian Tinney are determined to reach new heights both on and off the trampoline.

Representing Australia, talented trampoline gymnasts Victoria Park's Cooper and Rockhampton PCYC Trampoline Club duo Tinney and Blake Rutherford fly out of Rockhampton today for South Africa ahead of the Indo-Pacific Championships in Sun City from June 29 to July 5.

Rutherford will compete in the 17-years-and-over trampoline and the senior men's synchronised trampoline with New South Welshman Matthew Weal.

Tinny and Cooper are focused on the double mini-trampoline event.

The Indo-Pacific Championships serve as a developmental event for emerging international athletes who are headed for the top of the sport.

The trio will be joined by Rockhampton PCYC Club coaches Cherie Rutherford, an Australian trampoline coach; and Matthew Delforce, who will judge at his first international event.

Cooper, Tinney and Rutherford hope to break into the top-10 in their events at the championships, which attracts competitors from Australia, New Zealand, South America, Africa, Asia and North America.

Cooper said his focus had turned away from trampoline and into the double-mini discipline.

"I was talking to Gymnastics Australia and they really want me to focus on double-mini," Cooper said.

"They've got plans for me this year, so I'm going over there and hopefully I'll get some (qualifying) scores for worlds and then see about hopefully going to the world championships in America at the end of the year."

Once the competition has finished, Tinny and Cooper have their sights on tackling an even greater height.

The pair will embark on an eight-day trek up Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.

The highest free-standing mountain in the world, the pair will spend six days climbing to the top of the mountain, which is 5895m above sea level.

"We're going straight up to the summit (but) the main thing is the Indos - that's our focus for the trip," Cooper, who turns 21 tomorrow, said.

"Climbing Kilimanjaro has always been a bit of a goal of mine since I was a kid.

"I saw it up there when I was looking at things to do around Africa and I just thought that's what I'm going to do."

While they've done some practice, climbing mountains around Central Queensland, it (Kilimanjaro trek) will be the pair's first attempt at climbing one of the world's greatest mountains.



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