By Ben Shelley
In their fourth year of operation, the Ryerson Trampoline Club is bouncing their way onto the map as one of the most interesting clubs at Ryerson. For two nights a week, Ryerson community members take to trampolines in the Kerr Hall gym to perform moves that would leave many thinking these performers were trained veterans.
However, what’s surprising to know is that many of the members of the club had very little experience before joining.
A lot of the credit for this improvement can be given to Bill Spurrell, the head coach of the Trampoline Club. Spurrell was a former member of the National Trampoline Team before he went on to coach both that same national team. After taking a break when his daughter was born, Spurrell returned to work with Ryerson students, due to his love for coaching. Out of his own money, he bought three trampolines, all of which are currently used by the club members.
“I set it up to be mainly a recreational trampoline program, mostly for people who have done a little bit of gymnastics, springboard diving and any sort of acrobatic sport,” said Spurrell. “There wasn’t really anything at Ryerson to fill that void in the athletic program.”
As of now, there are 14 members in the club all with various degrees of skill and experience. Many members are just there for recreational purposes, however Spurrell also believes there are some members that could compete at a competitive level this year.
“We have a wide range of athletes bouncing around at Ryerson and we have a couple of guys that could be competing at the national level,” said Spurrell. “But most people can be hoping to learn very basic skills, all the way up to multiple twisting double or triple somersaults.”
Kelsey Moretto, a Ryerson student in Fashion Communications, has been a member for two and a half years and enjoys recreationally using the trampolines.
“It’s very relaxed. It’s somewhere that I can learn at my own pace instead of in competitive where they push you,” said Moretto. “It’s more individual, so you don’t need to worry about how you match up with a team.”
The club has also taken in a few members who haven’t gone to Ryerson. Pier Shu, 39, learned about the program through his girlfriend, who is a Ryerson alumna. Shu says he enjoys being in the program for fitness, to get in shape and learn new things. His girlfriend, Heather Jackson, 37, joined the program in June. Jackson says she is half-serious about wanting to compete by the time she is 40.
“I kind of do want to see if I could do something called the Masters, which is for adults doing gymnastics,” said Jackson.
Though the athletes may have different reasons for participating in the club, they do have one thing in common. Regardless of what skill level they are at, they all gave major praise to Spurrell.
“Bill is the best trampoline coach I’ve ever met. When I came here, Bill fixed my [form], and taught me things from the beginning,” said Jackson.
“He’s mean in a nice way,” joked Moretto. “He pushes you to try new things, and puts you in [situations] where you learn better.”
The Ryerson Trampoline Club practices on Mondays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and Wednesdays from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Spurrell’s reasoning for the long hours is to accommodate for students so they are able to work on their studies first and still have time to participate in the club.