Get Active: Bounce yourself to better fitness levels in Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 June 2015 | UPDATED: 13:12 29 June 2015

Scott Pope bouncing his way to a healthier lifestyle at Robert Clack Leisure Centre

Scott Pope bouncing his way to a healthier lifestyle at Robert Clack Leisure Centre


If you’re like me and have no coordination, getting active in any meaningful sense is a problem.

But tucked away in Robert Clack Leisure Centre is the alternative to conventional sport – and it’s open to pretty much anybody.

Trampolining, lead coach Danielle Smith tells me, is great for all ages and abilitities.

“This is an inclusive club for all – our youngest member is five and our oldest is 16,” she said. “And I’ve done disability training for trampolining so we really can cater for pretty much anybody.

“It’s nice to see the kids grow and see how they achieve week by week.”

And as I watched 16-year-old Scott Pope perform swivel hops and back landings, I was impressed to see his friends barking instructions at eachother such as: “Spread your arms, you’ve got to spread out, mate.”

Danielle said that’s the strength of the club, and that having peers instruct one another boosts self-esteem.

“It’s really good for people with autism,” she said. “They understand balance when they’re on the trampoline.

“And it’s great for people with cerebral paulsy because it stretches their muscles.”

Scott, who has just finished Eastbrook School, said the sport that took him to the borough championships is also a great way to make new friends.

“Winning the borough cup in July last year was my proudest moment,” he said. “It was great to show them what I can do and the quality of it.

“I’m into sports generally but I’ve been trampolining since Year 7 and this has been a great way to meet new friends.”

The trampoline club runs two hour-long sessions at £2 each from 4.30pm-6.30pm on Fridays during term times.

And on the last week of every term, the club holds a special fun day for members, which sees them take a break from training for a day and play games on the trampoline.

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