‘CHUFFED’: Rockhampton’s Kerry Smyth has received national recognition for her decades-long service to trampolining. Picture: Jann Houley
‘CHUFFED’: Rockhampton’s Kerry Smyth has received national recognition for her decades-long service to trampolining. Picture: Jann Houley

Rocky coach nationally recognised for decades of service

TRAMPOLINING: Rockhampton’s Kerry Smyth has been recognised for decades of service to her beloved sport.

She has received the Trampoline Special Recognition Award from Gymnastics Australia.

Smyth has been involved in trampolining for more than 40 years.

She spent three years competing in her late teens before making the transition to coaching.

She has been a competition convener since 1985 and coached at every level, holding the position of state and national head coach.

The award recognises Smyth’s long-term dedication to her athletes and the pursuit of their sporting goals.

“I was pretty chuffed,” she said.

“Most awards recognise your achievements for a particular year, this award recognises my contribution over years and years.

“It is nice be acknowledged but my athletes are the ones who give me the greatest pleasure.”

Smyth said trampolining had been such a big part of her life, and the trampolining fraternity had become like a second family to her.

Her 35 years as head coach at Victoria Park Gymnastic and Trampoline Club is something she will always cherish.

“That is where I had some of my most memorable coaching achievements,” she said.

“There are so many things that make the sport; it’s so much more than just going to the gym and doing the work.

“The relationships I have forged and the adventures I have enjoyed are just incredible.

“The experiences – whether it be the day-to-day training or seeing my trampolinists perform at the highest level – are phenomenal.”

Smyth said it was impossible to single out a coaching highlight, simply because there had been so many.

Among the most notable was watching her young charge, Patrick Cooper, qualify for and represent Australia at the first Youth Olympics.

Another was the enduring career of Jarrod Spear, who Smyth coached to five straight world championships.

“It’s hard to single anyone or anything out simply because there have been so many wonderful moments,” she said.