Saltash's Ollie Piper bids for glory at trampoline championships
OLLIE PIPER switches from diving to trampolining as the Saltash youngster bids to add to his tally of medals in Stoke-on-Trent this weekend.
Piper will be competing at the trampoline finals of the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools in the Potteries fresh from a four-medal haul at Plymouth's Life Centre.
The 13-year-old Mount School prep student qualified for the trampolining national championships with accomplished performances at the regional rounds, staged at Bristol and Bath.
Last month Piper was one of the up-and-coming divers who took the eye and plaudits with winning displays for Plymouth Diving's star-studded team at the Life Centre.
Piper won gold for Plymouth in the three-metre under-15 competition, and silver medals in the one-metre, platform and also the under-18 three-metre synchro with dive partner Reece Davies.
The ultra-talented teen is coached by head coach Sally Freeman at Plymouth Diving, while his trampoline training is carried out at Zero Gravity Academy, in Saltash.
Mum, Ali Piper, said her son was coping well with the two disciplines, saying she was proud of his achievements and thrived on competition.
She said: "Ollie just loves the two sports and is thriving under Sally's coaching and the encouragement of his team-mates at the Life Centre.
"We were all blown away by his great performances in the Armada Cup.
"He showed there just how much progress he is making.
"Ollie also loves going to his local club, Zero Gravity, who have been great for him and is proud to be going to the trampoline nationals."
Mrs Piper said it was an odd twist of fate that her son should be doing so well and competing in a national tournament, when he could have been celebrating his birthday.
She explained: "Ollie was born on Christmas Day 1999 by C-section three months' early and really his due birth date is on Saturday.
"He weighed in at 2lb at birth and I was told I'd have to reconcile myself to having a sickly child, if he survives.
"Well, all the family believed he had a good future and Ollie has shown he is a fighter, because, well, just look at him now."