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Being brought up in a family of two older brothers and a twin sister, Jack Penny was born determined and competitive. Jack first started doing gymnastics at the age of 9. Two years later, his local gymnastics club started up a trampoline program and he decided to give it a shot. The idea of being able to do flips and tricks appealed to Jack and he has never looked back!
Jack has had a long list of proud achievements throughout his career as a professional trampoline athlete. Jack won gold medals at the Indo-Pacific Championships across all three disciplines: double mini, trampoline and synchronised trampoline in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Jack also ranked 5th place at the World Championships in 2010 for double-mini and has taken the national double-mini title twice.
Most recently, Jack has won gold this year at the National Gymnastics Championships in Sydney for Synchronised Trampoline and was part of the shadow Olympic squad for the London Games. Despite Jack’s great achievements in double-mini trampoline, he has decided to retire from the discipline and focus all his energy on representing Australia at the 2016 Olympic Games in trampoline.
Ever since Jack started training, his coach Ben Kelly would travel fortnightly from Hobart to Launceston to train the bright, young athlete. Jack believes that without the dedication of his coach, he would not have been able to keep his motivation up and be able to look back on his long list of achievements. He also thanks the Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS) for the scholarship that he has held since 2005, that has been a huge help in achieving his goals. And of course, Jack is grateful for the help and support of his Mum and Dad, with his Mum being an active member of the trampoline sport managing state and national teams.
In the small amount of time that Jack has left after juggling his Electrical Engineering degree and training for his next gymnastics event, he enjoys playing guitar, and joining his friends for some indoor cricket or a game of tennis.
Jack lives by the lyrical words of the musician, Ben Lee: “You can’t climb til you’re ready to fall.”