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Flying Laura's Blog: The Past Few Months

Well, it's been a while since my last blog so I thought I would take you through what I have been up to over the past few months!
The competition season started back in February and since then my performances have been building and improving throughout the year. I have achieved and beaten new personal bests in all areas; my flight time (the amount of time you are in the air for), my routine difficulty (tariff) and my scores.

I also won my first World medal as a senior in April at a World Cup in Bulgaria. This was in the synchronised event and after a good performance my synchro partner, Bryony, and I won a bronze medal. I was especially pleased with that as it is the first season for me competing in synchronised trampolining! We also showed real potential and apparently were the first ever female synchronised pair to compete two triple somersaults!

Following the World Cup in Bulgaria I had gala competitions in Northern Ireland and South Shields and was successful at both of these, finishing in first place.

GALLAGHER_Laura__GBR__copyShortly before the South Shields gala I found out that I had been selected to represent Great Britain at World Cups in Japan and China! We left for Japan on the 24th June and spent 3 days training with some members of the Japanese team. From there we flew to Wuxi, China, for the first of two World Cups.

I was just competing in the synchronised competition at this event and unfortunately it didn’t go well for me and I landed on the mat on the fourth move. I felt very disappointed with my performance, but there was no time to dwell on it as we left to fly back to Japan just a couple of days later in order to get prepared for the second World Cup.

Training was good here and I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to compete as a guest in the individual competition. I had a few issues with the knee I injured last year, as it felt really sore and swollen after training. It was quite distracting and I did find it hard to put it to the back of my mind when I didn’t even know why it had flared up, but I felt I was able to jump on it so carried on.

I was first on to compete and scored a personal best compulsory score, flight time, voluntary tariff and overall score! I felt very happy with that after struggling with a sore knee. My score put me in third place and in the final, but because I was just guesting I wasn’t able to compete in the final.

On the next day we had the synchro finals and we finished in third; however, because the other British pair finished in second we could not pick up our medals, due to the rules stating that only one pair from each country are eligible to medal. 

When I returned home a few days later I had a scan on my knee to find out what was causing the swelling. Luckily it was not a huge problem; it showed the bone bruise I sustained last year had got a bit bigger and the swelling was a result of that. Managing it meant cutting down trampoline time and lots of ice! Not ideal but at least I can work with it!

Two weekends after returning from Asia I competed at the British Championships. A decent first day for me put me in second place going into the finals, but unfortunately I messed up in the finals. I was frustrated with the result but I am able to take away the positives, not just from the prelims but from the steady progress throughout the year.

As for me and my life off the trampoline, I have recently become a patron for the charity ‘Mind’ in Taunton and West Somerset. After hearing my experiences and journey to overcome my hurdles which saw me unable to even get on a trampoline (nightmares and a huge loss of confidence, resulting in great anxiety) I was contacted by the charity. I felt honoured to be contacted by the charity and am really excited to get involved with their projects and fundraising. For more information about Mind visit their website www.mind.org.uk.

Laura Gallagher is a 21-year-old trampolinist who trains at Strode Swimming Pool & Fitness Centre. Born and bred in Somerset, Laura will be hoping to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games. You can watch her in action by clicking here!