International trampolinist bounces back from 2020

Dibb, 22, who is in her second year of a Bachelor of Sport Coaching, has recently been named Sportsperson of the Year in the UC 2020 Blues Awards.

The annual ceremony celebrates students who have excelled in sport, arts and community engagement.

Dibb says she wasn’t expecting to win the award but is happy with the recognition of her national and international achievements.

The double-mini and trampoline athlete moved from gymnastics into trampolining at the age of nine and has competed at every Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships since 2015.

She won a silver medal at the World Open Trampoline Championships in Tokyo last year, becoming the first New Zealander in 21 years to claim a medal at the world champs. She finished fourth at the World Games in 2017 and won bronze at the World Cup in Russia in 2019 after winning the New Zealand nationals competition that year.

Her silver medal was even more impressive considering she had just three months to train after recovering from knee reconstruction surgery for a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – a potentially career-ending injury that happened in 2018.

While her sport isn’t very well known in New Zealand, Dibb absolutely loves it. “Flying through the air, that thrill and adventure – it’s such a cool feeling.”

There are many skills involved in being a trampolinist, she says. “Strength is a big one. It’s also a very mental sport, psychologically your head needs to be in it. And you need to have good spatial awareness just to know where you are in the air.”

While the Covid-19 lockdown and halt on travel to overseas competitions has been disappointing for many sports people, Dibb says it has given her a chance to focus on other things, including her studies.

She combines full-time study with trampoline training four times a week and regular gym workouts. “There’s not much time left for a social life,” she admits.

“With most international competitions being cancelled it’s a good time to set new goals and plan for the future. I’ve been using this time to improve my skill base, learn some new skills and have a bit of fun with it,” she says.

Dibb hopes to coach other high performance athletes after she graduates next year. “My ideal job would be working with athletes within minority sports, like trampolining, that don’t get the same support as people in mainstream sports such as netball.”

Dibb won the Prime Minister’s Athlete Scholarship this year which has helped with university fees and other course related costs.

She trains with her long-standing coach Nigel Humphreys at Ice Trampoline Sports Club in Rangiora, where she also works as a coach.

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