Edinburgh and Back: A Tramps Tale

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Friday the 7th of February marked the start of our wondrous trip to the land of Edinburgh where the Trinity Trampoliners would compete at the Scottish Student Trampoline Open (SSTO). At about 2am Iain and I arose from our slumber with the stellar idea of making pancakes for the rest of our group, although it seemed like a great Idea at the time, we would have given our kingdoms for that extra hour of sleep we denied ourselves, needless to say, we were exhausted.

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However, our faithful sidekick, Owen came to our rescue and took over the pancake making duties. We stacked them as high as we could and stuffed them with as many blueberries and cherries as we could. It was a feast you would happily present to royalty!

When we arrived at the airport, It was agreed that myself and Ciaran would protect Owen and the bounty of pancakes he carried from the inevitable onslaught of tired and hungry Tramps (trampoliners). The pancakes were a success and marked the start of an epic journey that would bring us to the land of the Scots for some bouncing, some drinks and some socialising with clubs from around England, Ireland and Scotland.  The flight was too short for my liking; I would have loved to sneak in an extra hours nap before arriving in Edinburgh.

We all hopped on the bus and journeyed to Edinburgh, admiring the sights as we passed and even debating the sneaky stop off at Edinburgh Zoo. We decided against this as we had a long day ahead of us and we needed to get some rest before the evening training session and the following “social” session.

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Edinburgh has got to be the most beautiful city I have ever been to. The architecture and design is absolutely amazing. You could happily wander for hours, lose track of time and accomplish nothing, but it would still be worth every minute of the trek.  My only regret is that I did not get to climb Arthur’s seat again. I had climbed it on a previous trip to Scotland but would have treasured another chance to scale the mountain. One thing to note in Edinburgh, they love their hills. If you aren’t going up one hill, you are going down another. It is amazing exercise. . . If you’re into that sorta thing. I can’t give a list of what to visit as everything is just so fantastic, but visit as much as you can and take it all in. The scenery is amazing, the people are lovely and the history is incredible. The only thing I liked more than all of this was the price of everything! It was so chea. . . .affordable!

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After we hopped off the bus we made our way to the hostel as everyone was wrecked from a combination of a lack of sleep and the travel; It does take its toll on us. When we arrived at the hostel, we discovered our rooms were not ready and would not be ready until 1 (We arrived at 10am) Groups of us wandered the city. Some of us went for breakfast in this really nice café while others went to visit the Castle on the Rock, which is a must see for anyone travelling to Edinburgh. It is a phenomenal piece of architecture and an extreme feat of engineering.

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Definitely worth a look see. Admission is a bit pricey but you won’t regret it. After all this exploration it was time to return to our hostel and hibernate until training. I, unfortunately did not avail of this time to catch up on sleep. I went around to the shops to find my costume for the Tramp Social, which was themed “Super Tramp”. I inevitably ended up getting lost and couldn’t signal a taxi for the life of me, apparently I needed air traffic controller lights to get a taxi’s attention. Eventually I found the store and made it back safely to the hostel, hoping to get an hours sleep in before training, alas, this was not to be. I arrived in the door, checked in and lay down in my bed. No sooner did I have my eyes closed did the David’s rallying cry echo through the room “Ok, folks it’s time to wake up for training”

So begin the march to training. Everyone was clearly so excited to be there, and so energetic as well.

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We were training from 5-7:30, working tirelessly on our routines, concentrating on nothing but the trampoline and how we planned to conquer it on the day of competition. Well…. Maybe we were also thinking of the tramp social directly after training. Folks developing costume ideas last minute, trying to find out where we are going and most importantly, we were trying to get to know the others from the different colleges that were attending SSTO.

We had eight trampolines out, a Double move trampoline and crash mats for sleeping. Each trampoline was attended by a mix of folks from different colleges; there was no need to keep routines a secret during warm up. We all tried to help each other, matted each other and just had fun in general during training. It was like one big trampy family.

Bring on the Tramp social! Costumes galore; from Cian managing to make an amazing last minute costume (typical), Morgane going all out as Storm from the X-men and Danny actually goes as one of the Super Tramps from the 70’s.

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We enjoyed a few drinks in the hostel before moving out to the club where we were joined by the other clubs competing at SSTO, it was a full house. The drinks flowed and fun was had by all.

We were all shocked to hear that the clubs stayed open until 4am. So shocked that Danny and Aideen didn’t believe us. They just weren’t ready for such epic news. We all made the rounds chatting to folks in other clubs that we had known previously or meeting new people and making friends there and then. One thing that can be said about tramps is that we are a very sociable people. These are the friendliest bunch of people I have had the pleasure of meeting, no matter what college they are from. You can walk up to anyone of them and strike up a conversation and be best buddies within an hour.  Unfortunately, I was running on fumes by Midnight, as I didn’t get my nap earlier in the day so I had to excuse myself from the festivities, knowing full well it would work out for the best for Saturday night.

Competition day! Everyone was up at the crack of Aideen’s whip for their trampoline flights. Most of us weren’t due to compete until 11am or 2pm, but we all went at 9 to support our team mates, such is the comradery of the Trampoline club.

Everyone showed up with smiling faces and ready to face the day. The excitement was setting in for everyone and we were all ready to compete at our designated levels.

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We had competitors in almost every level of the competition and every one of us gave it our best. In our heads, we all hoped we medalled or at least placed well,  but we were happy to be there, to represent our club and our college in SSTO, and I feel we have done the Trinity name and the Trampoline club name proud and conducted ourselves with dignity throughout the whole trip and competition, one might even say we added some of our own flair and grace to the trip.

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SSTO was filled with solid competitors at all levels from all over England, Scotland and Ireland. Some even competes on an elite International level.

I messed up my first routine, so was convinced to do something to surprise the judges. Myself and Danny decided that it was necessary to do a Crash Dive to front drop at the start of my routine. This had the desire effect and the look of horror on the judges faces cannot be fully described in words, but I will say it was probably one of the funniest things I have seen in a while.

This was definitely an experience to remember for all of us and not one we will forget any time soon. It will also prepare us for our upcoming colours completion against UCD and for ISTO which is in April and is being held in Belfast.

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We had our final Tramp social on Saturday night as a way of saying well done and you guys were awesome. It was a chance for us to blow off some steam before heading back home on Sunday evening.

The Dreaded Sunday morning where we just wished we could all sleep until the end of time. We all got up early to head to the fun events such as Synchro, DMT and Two trick. Needless to say, some of us were a bit. . . Exhausted from the last 2 days. We had entries in the first 3 levels of the 2 trick events which was amazingly fun.

Recovery was on the agenda for most on that Sunday though.

The Synchro event was incredible. We had multiple teams entered in different categories and they all looked amazing.

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Big congratulations to Paul and Ciaran and David and Paul who medalled in synchro, Silver and bronze respectively. It was an amazing showing.

This was probably one of the best rips I have ever taken and It was an experience I will never forget. I would like to thank the committee for organising it so well and an honourable mention to David O’Driscoll and Aideen Ni Choileain for organising everything for us and making this a trip for the ages.  Hon the Tramps!

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–John

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