A spot on Canada’s team at this 2015 World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships was once little more than a fantasy for Trevor Stirling.
But the pipe dream turned into reality when the 20-year-old Kelowna athlete executed the performance of his young career at the nationals this summer in Calgary.
Stirling placed third among all Canadian trampoline competitors to qualify for the worlds this week in Denmark.
“I’m really excited, I didn’t think it was possible this year, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it,” said Stirling, a member of the Okanagan Gymnastics Centre. “But I made a big push this summer, had a great nationals, and it worked out. I’ve taken that extra step earlier than I thought, so I’m thrilled.”
Stirling will be competing as a senior at worlds for the first time as the event kicks off Thursday in Odense, Denmark.
He will perform two routines—the compulsory and the optional—along more than 100 of the planet’s best male trampolinists.
The top 24 will move on to the semi-finals.
Ideally, Stirling would like to finish in the top 50 places, but would be content with simply performing up to his potential.
“I don’t really have a goal of where I’d like to place, but I’d like to score 100 points, and wherever that puts me, I’d be happy,” he said. “I’m going to get some experience at the highest level.”
Since first trying gymnastics in 2007, Stirling proved to be a quick study on the trampoline, winning a world junior Pan Am title in 2010 in Daytona Beach, Fla.
And thanks in large part to his commitment to training—more than 600 hours per year in the gym—Stirling has continued to climb up the ranks of Canadian trampoline.
“He’s been so dedicated since the first day I met him,” said Jamie Gardner, Stirling’s coach in Kelowna. “All he ever wanted to do is trampoline, he’s put a lot of hard work and commitment into this. He’s worked his butt off, so if anyone deserves this, it’s Trevor.”
In addition to his work ethic, Stirling’s believes his independent nature has also served him well on a trampoline.
“I like the individual side of it because the success I have is all based on how I do, I don’t have a team to depend on,” said Stirling, who also works with Vancouver-based coach Curt DeWolff. “You’re out there on your own, constantly trying to get better.”
Like the trampoline, Stirling is also committed to his education and is currently in his third year studying electrical engineering at UBC Okanagan.
Stirling said his love for trampoline has been a big benefit to his education.
“I spend a lot of time studying, so trampoline keeps me active, busy and fit outside of school,” he said. “I put a lot of my time into doing math and physics, so being in shape like I am, I think allows to think clearer and work my way through problems.”
As for the trampoline, Stirling can’t think of a better way to challenge himself, both mentally and physically.
“I think that what trampoline has over a lot of other sports is that there’s no limit, never a time where you’ve learned everything,” he said. “You can add a flip to a routine, you can just keep adding one thing after another, it just never stops.
“I like the challenge…and it’s a lot of fun, too.”
Stirling is scheduled to arrive home from the world championships on Monday.