Kingston Aeros Trampoline Club celebrates 50th anniversary

This October, the Kingston Aeros Trampoline Club is celebrating 50 years in operation. Submitted photo.

This fall, the Kingston Aeros Trampoline Club is celebrating 50 years of high-flying fun in the Limestone City.

Founded in 1973 by then-head coach Dave Ross, the club started as the trampoline component of the Kingston Gymnastics Club. The Aeros would eventually break away as its own dedicated club, offering competitive and recreational trampoline programs for five decades and counting.

According to club administrator Melinda McLean, much of the Aeros’ longevity can be attributed to its popular programming options.

“I feel that our success is based on our programs, especially our recreational programs and the classes we offer,” she said, noting that the club currently offers a diverse range of recreational programs and classes, as well as pre-competitive and competitive teams.

The Aeros have called a number of different facilities home over the years, including the Quarry Sportsplex which housed the club in the early 2000s. Submitted photo.

“We have the recreational program that we run, evening classes, some weekend classes, our competitive program, and… day camps. Our March Break and summer camps are very, very popular for us; they fill up very quickly.”

Over the years, the Aeros have called a number of different venues in Kingston home, including the basement of the Queen’s University gymnasium and the old Quarry Sportsplex dome. McLean remarked, “We’ve definitely been nomadic. This is my 17th year with the club, [and we’ve been in] multiple facilities over those 17 years.” Since 2013, the Aeros have been located at 785 Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard.

While trampolining is a timeless activity enjoyed by millions of people around the world, it is also a highly competitive gymnastics discipline. Since 2000, the sport has been included in the Summer Olympics, with Kingstonians well-represented on Canadian Olympic teams. In the last 23 years, the club has been home to a number of Olympians and other elite competitors.

“Over the years we’ve produced, or had as members of the club, Canadian and world champions. We’ve had a couple of Olympians either train with us or start out as members of the club. We currently have athletes who compete provincially, even athletes who attend the Eastern Canadian Championships, and we have athletes who compete internationally,” McLean said.

“We currently have an athlete who competes on double mini, which is kind of like trampoline and vaults combined; he is on Team Canada for double mini, so he’s on the senior national team.”

Since the introduction of trampoline as an Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney Games, Canada has collected a total of seven medals across both the men’s and women’s disciplines, including two gold medals. According to McLean, Canada’s international trampoline success has helped the club attract new members as more people are exposed to the sport.

“After multiple Olympic medals, trampolining has become a little bit more mainstream… People are now seeing it as another extension of gymnastics,” she said,

While the sport can be serious business at times, especially from the standpoints of safety and competition, McLean emphasized that it is a fun activity for participants of all ages.

“The biggest takeaway that we want [for people in] our club is you’re having fun, [and] you’re learning the sport,” she said. “We want people to have fun doing physical activity. They’re working out, but they don’t know they’re working out. They’re getting a full-body workout, and they’re having fun while doing it.”

On top of the physical health benefits of trampolining, the sport also prepares athletes for other disciplines, including cheerleading, figure skating, diving, snowboarding, and wakeboarding.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary, the Aeros will be holding a special celebration event from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, at the club’s home at 785 Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard, Unit 7F.

McLean noted, “We have invited all of our current members and some past members from all over the decades. We have a few dignitaries from the City, [and] our federal MP has said that he will be attending. Some former head coaches [and] former athletes will be there as well.” Among those set to take part in the event, members of the public will also have a chance to try the trampolines for themselves, with a birthday cake cutting set to take place at 2:30 p.m.

Additional information on the 50th anniversary celebration, as well as the club’s various programs and classes, can be found on the Kingston Aeros Facebook page and website.

Photo via Kingston Aeros on Facebook.

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