Elite athlete Dr Eva Kierath of Connolly Dental Surgery in Western Australia is working towards competing at the Tokyo Olympics in trampolining.
“Trampolining can be dangerous but so far, I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve split my nose open and had a stress fracture in my back but that’s it. I received the stress fracture when I was learning a new skill. It wasn’t an immediate thing; it happened over a couple of weeks. I was trying to master a twisting rotation and that caused an incomplete L5 pars fracture. It happened in July last year but I’ve received great physio and strength conditioning at the [Australian] Institute of Sport.
“I started out as a gymnast and dancer when I was a kid. During that time, I gave trampolining a go and was hooked. I went from recreational to competitive trampolining fairly quickly. There was a lot of hard training but eventually I moved up through the ranks and began winning competitions.
“I’ve competed at the World Age Groups twice and the Senior World Championships four times. I won World Age in 2011 when I was 17 years old. I’ve competed in the Trampoline World Championships multiple times and made the semi-final at 2017 world champs. I’ve also been to numerous World Cups—my synchro partner and I won silver medals for synchronised trampolining in 2018 and 2019.
“You have to undertake a lot of training to compete at an international level. In a normal week, I do two training sessions a day but they’re not all trampoline. I’ll do weights, bike and Pilates, followed up by a session on the trampoline. I used to do seven trampoline sessions a week but because of the stress fracture in my back, I’m only doing five a week at present.
“I have great hopes of competing at the next Olympics. You need to win in a variety of competitions in order to qualify and each country has to earn their spots. Australia will probably only have one spot and I intend to make that mine. The postponement of the Olympics due to COVID-19 will actually work in my favour as it will give me more time to prepare—if there’s any positive to come out of this awful situation.
“Trampolining is a sport that’s full of fun and joy. Essentially, you’re flying. I love that there’s always something new to learn and you never reach the end of possibility. Every kid loves trampolining and I’ve managed to work it so I can still jump around in adulthood. That’s pretty cool.”