Claire Arthur ready to jump into international competition

The Gymnastics Australia (GA) 70th Anniversary celebrations continue this week with Trampoline Gymnastics athletes reflecting on what their sport has become. 

Current Trampoline National Squad member, Claire Arthur, began gymnastics in the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics program at age four before moving to Trampoline training at the age of eleven. 

Fast forward to 2019, and Arthur shines with pride talking about her recent Australian Championships Senior Women’s Final.

“I loved performing this routine. I felt strong and confident and my skills felt nice,” Arthur said.

“Once I had finished my last skills and stopped, before turning to present to the judges, I felt so happy. 

“It was one of my best performances in a competition to date, and I really showed myself how well I can compete, especially after my routines at the previous two World Cups were not at the level that I prepared.”

Off the back of the Australian Championships success, Arthur couldn’t be more excited to be representing Australia on the world stage.

“I love representing Australia; I feel a great sense of pride being able to represent my country in the sport I love,” Arthur said.

“Knowing I am among the World’s top athletes in my chosen sport is a humbling and special feeling and gives me a great sense accomplishment.

“The Australian Trampoline Team is really stepping up in the international rankings and showing the rest of the world how competitive we are.

“I am so proud to be competing in this team where I hope to achieve great results and gain Olympic qualifying points.”

It was easy for Arthur to sum up why she loves being a Trampoline athlete.

“I love the feeling of jumping high, rotating fast, learning new skills and pushing myself to be the best athlete I can be,” Arthur said.

“I have always loved that our sport is an aesthetic sport. 

“To me, it is most impressive when skills are performed seemingly effortlessly, in particular the harder skills, it really looks beautiful. It’s what sets the top athletes apart because it is definitely not easy or effortless like they show. 

“I am proud to continue adding to our sport and showing the real beauty behind the strength, power and precision.”

It is interesting to get an athletes opinion on how the sport has evolved over the years and Arthur provides an in-depth description on changes that she has experienced. 

“The scoring system has been altered for the execution component whereby previously three execution scores contributed to the overall routine score. Whereas now, two execution scores are counted and Horizontal Displacement replaces the third execution score,” Arthur said.

“The pressure plates have also slightly altered another component of the overall routine score, Time of Flight, which measures the amount of time spend off the trampoline in the air doing the skill. 

“There are now four skills in the first (compulsory) routine that are counted for Degree of Difficulty (DD), whereas only two have counted previously. So, all ten skills in the second (voluntary) routine count for DD. 

“On top of that, the method for qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games has changed for this cycle, whereby there are two methods of qualifying. 

“One is through achieving top eight at the 2019 World Championships and two is through a point system accumulated over the 2019-20 World Cups. The athletes ranked top eight after any four World Cups will secure an Olympic quota position for their country.

“The sport has rapidly evolved in athlete’s performances too. Athletes are jumping higher, doing harder skills and continuing to push boundaries.

“It is an exciting time in the sport.”

It’s hard to predict what the future has in store for Trampoline Gymnastics but Arthur looks forward to more difficulty resulting in more interesting competitions. 

“If I were to predict, I would say that more skills from the compulsory routine will count for DD, perhaps up to 6 or 8 skills. 

"I think that would make the sport more challenging, as we would see a wider variety of harder skills performed and more complex skills than are already being performed. 

“This would make for even more interesting competitions at an international level, as currently many top athletes perform the same skills.”

Arthur is now preparing for the Khabarovsk World Cup and Valladolid World Cup which will take place in September and October.