OTTUMWA - This weekend, over a thousand athletes tumbled and bounced their way into the hearts of judges and a large audience during the United States Trampoline and Tumbling Association State Meet at the Bridge View Center.
The Iowa USTA State Meet was hosted by Team Flip from Ottumwa and Iowa Falls T&T teams and brought 1,259 athletes from across the state to compete this weekend. Saturday and Sunday, the athletes, ranging in age from two to 26, competed in over 3,000 events as they fought for a place at the National Meet. This year's national competition will take place June 17-21 in Louisville, Ken.
The United States Trampoline and Tumbling Association was founded in 1971 by Larry Griswold and George Nissen, the founder of the trampoline. It stared with only 200 members who competed in tumbling, trampoline and the double-mini trampoline, all of which were in one division.
Now the sport has grown exponentially, and to accommodate this growth there are 15 divisions, nine for tumbling and six for double-mini and the trampoline. The USTA awards numerous scholarships to graduating seniors or to athletes that are still competing and continuing their education.
Ottumwa's Team Flip had 20 athletes competing against 32 other teams from across the state. The meet has an event for every age group and ranges from beginners to experts.
“Nobody has to sit out with this organization,” Vicky Wilson, the Iowa Falls T&T team advisor, said. “Everyone gets a chance to show their skills.”