Bouncing to the top of the world

Rockhampton gymnasts (from left) Patrick Cooper, Bastain Tinney and Blake Rutherford are off to take on the world's best.
Rockhampton gymnasts (from left) Patrick Cooper, Bastain Tinney and Blake Rutherford are off to take on the world's best. Sharyn O'Neill

IT'S hard to believe Blake Rutherford is a veteran of his chosen sport.

At the ripe old age of 14, Rutherford bounces around on the trampoline at his Rockhampton Police Citizens Youth Club in preparation for his fourth world championships.

The Rockhampton PCYC gymnast and club mate Bastian Tinney join Victoria Park's Patrick Cooper in the Australian World Age Group team to contest the 28th annual Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships at Birmingham, UK from November 17–27.

The trio's inclusion in the team comes after impressing selectors and the judges at the recent Australian team trials in Tasmania.

Both Rutherford and Cooper have competed for Australian on numerous occasions, while the World Age Championships will be a first for Tinney.

The 17-year-old PCYC gymnast dons the green and gold for his first foray into trampoline gymnastics on the world stage.

Tinney qualified for the Australian team in the 17–18 men double mini trampoline and synchronised trampoline where he will partner Western Australian gymnast Joshua Mobbs.

Rutherford is competing in the 15–16 men's individual trampoline and is partnering with South Australian Luke Seal in the synchronised event.

Cooper has the busiest schedule of the trio at the world age championships with the Victoria Park gymnast competing in the 17–18 men's individual trampoline, double mini and synchronised event.

Tinney and Rutherford's coach at the PCYC, Cherie Rutherford, who won the Queensland Gymnastics Coach of the Year award last month, will join the pair in the Australian team as an official while Victoria Park's Kerry Smyth has been appointed as coach.

Cherie, who is a former world championship competitor herself, said competing on the international stage was about more than just results.

“It's the experience. To represent your country in any sport is an unbelievable experience,” she said.

“Wearing the green and gold, walking out behind the Australian flag as part of the team is something you'll have forever.

“To come out of it with a result is just the icing on the cake.”

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