Tracks 2000 - Gymnastics Equipment
Over the last few weeks we have been making lots of progress using the T2K Air Barrel. We have the 80cm size Air Barrel which is ideal for our gymnasts aged 8 years old to 16, T2K also have a 60cm Air Barrel for smaller participants. As a recreational gymnastics club, we have found the Air Barrel to be particularly useful for teaching front and back handsprings (think Top Tumbler), and other skills that require gymnasts to keep the shoulder angle open; like forward/backward walkovers and handstand to bridge. But these aren’t the only uses for the Air Barrel, this product is a versatile aid for various levels of training, from beginner to elite gymnastics.
What is the Air Barrel?
Just like blocks, wedges and various other shapes found in the gym, the Air Barrel is another tool in a coach’s armoury of training aids…but will probably be the only shape that is filled with air! The Air Barrel is a PVC, cylinder shaped inflatable that can be inflated within a minute. Once inflated, the Air Barrel can be rolled on by gymnasts for various shaping drills. With the Air Barrel being an air product, it’s soft and forgiving to land/roll on, is very light to move and once deflated takes up minimal storage space.
Our successes with the Air Barrel
- Our gymnasts have learned to keep their shoulder angle open and their bodies stretched for their forward handsprings. For the barrel to roll and land the gymnast upright in the correct position, the gymnast must perform the correct technique. If the gymnast does not use the correct technique (e.g. bending the arms, closing the shoulder angle or not keeping the body stretched), the barrel will not roll the gymnast to an upright position. The gymnasts have done a great job swinging the back leg and pushing hard with the front foot and waiting for their momentum to carry them over with the barrel without changing their body shape.
- Visually, by using the Air Barrel as an obstacle with the cradles holding it in a stationary position, the Air Barrel has helped our gymnasts to understand the take off and flight phase on a dive forward roll when performing the skill from our Jr. Mini Tramp.
- We have been able to use the Air Barrel to help the gymnasts get used to the idea of rotating backwards onto the hands with an open shoulder angle for back handsprings, without having to physically support the gymnast.
- The Air Barrel looks fun and interesting to our participants! When our gymnasts walk in and see the Air Barrel, we have heard ‘what’s that thing!’, ‘can we flip on the round thing again?!’ It’s nice to be able to keep introducing new interesting pieces of equipment, no matter how big or small to keep things exciting!
Using the Air Barrel with other Training Aids
For different drills for participants of different heights, you may need to raise the barrel a little bit higher, or raise the gymnast a little higher. We have found using the Booster Blocks to be really helpful for this, either using two Booster Blocks parallel to each other for the barrel to roll across, or as a platform for the gymnast to stand on for an extra height boost. We have also used the Folding Wedge as an incline for the Air Barrel to roll down. The T2K Cradles Velcro to Flex Roll mats and keep the barrel from rolling if you would like to keep the barrel still when using it as a shape to practice bridges or for some handstand conditioning. There are numerous creative ways to use the Air Barrel, we have even seen some clubs using it with a floor bar as a rebounder for casts.
As we are a club that runs from multiple different venues, we have been able to deflate the Air Barrel and easily transport it to different classes which is another benefit of this particular training aid. During the half term school holidays we filmed a few clips of gymnasts using the Air Barrel. Check it out here:
Hi, I’m Charlie. I work for Tracks 2000 and I also run a recreational gymnastics club outside of my office hours. My club is called Little Springers Gymnastics, and we are a grassroots gymnastics club focussed on providing a wide range of general gymnastics activities for anybody who wants to take part just for fun. We started in May 2015, operating from a leisure centre on a Saturday afternoon, but interest in our classes has grown and our club has developed. We now run classes out of multiple satellite venues including three different school sports halls, a Church hall, as well as the original leisure centre venue.
Working at T2K, I speak to lots of gymnastics clubs, cheer clubs, schools and leisure centres on a daily basis, each amid their own unique, gymnastics journey. Whether their journey is just starting out, is in full swing or about to reach the heights of a new premises or new level of performance, it’s evident that equipment planning meets us at every milestone and it’s always great to hear how we can help out.
The ‘My Club’ Blog hopes to share with our customers, a club and coach’s perspective on both new and existing products from T2K, case studies from recent projects and how T2K can support clubs and providers at various stages of their own gymnastics journey.
Look out for our upcoming ‘My Club’ blog post, where will be reviewing one of our air products, the ‘Air Barrel’ as well as catching up with Oadby and Leicester Gymnastics Club who have recently opened a dedicated gymnastics facility.
The Jr. Mini Tramp with steel springs and a nylon bed provides a firm bounce somewhere between a Springboard and standard Trampette. Perfect for rebound and vaulting activities for children and younger teenagers, this product is a smaller and lighter design than a full size Mini Tramp to ensure it is easy to move around the gym for various activities and work stations. Our Jr Mini Tramp comes with a soft front protection pad for added safety. The Jr. Mini Tramp takes up very little space in any sports hall cupboard or gymnastics center when not in use, and is also easy to set-up and take down at the beginning and end of classes meaning less time spent setting up and more time for bouncing.
T2K Jr. Mini Tramp Product Launch and Video
For the launch of the latest addition to our product range, the Jr. Mini Tramp, we visited Little Springers Gymnastics Club in Leicestershire to see it in action. The T2K Jr. Mini Tramp is ideal for recreational gymnastics, so we were keen to invite a group of gymnasts aged 5 to 15 from a local club that is focussed on skill learning for fun. We also wanted to work with a club that operates out of numerous satellite venues where time spent setting up needs to be kept to a minimum, and storage space for equipment can sometimes be a squeeze.
As well as gaining feedback from the club’s coaches and gymnasts and finding out what they liked most about the T2K Jr. Mini Tramp, we also wanted to shoot a short product video to share with our customers. We thought it would be great to be able to show our customers the range of age groups that this product can be used for, as well as the activities and skills that can be practiced and performed using the Jr. Mini Tramp. With this in mind, we have a number of T2K product videos we plan to shoot, to give coaches a good feel for the sizes of the products and some food for thought for session and activity planning.
Why the T2K Jr. Mini Tramp is bound to make a great training aid for recreational clubs…
- The bounce – The steel springs offer a stronger bounce than standard bungee cords, with a nylon bed just like a Fast Track. The Mini Tramp is great for rebound work, vault progressions, low-level TeamGym activities and team displays.
- The size and lightweight frame – This product is lighter in comparison to standard Trampettes, meaning it can be easily moved between different activities within any one class. For one group of children you may use it for vaulting onto a Four Section Foam Vault, before transferring the Jr. Mini Tramp to a different activity for more advanced participants, such as handstand flat backs onto a stack of Safety Mats or Super Soft Mats. Spin the Jr. Mini Tramp around to use a declining take off for back-handsprings or drop down from a Spotting Block to rebound into a dive forward roll; the light weight of this product means it can be used in so many ways and in conjunction with so many other training aids.
- It’s easy to set up – The legs and adjustable spin lock make the Jr. Mini Tramp easy to set up within seconds and without strain at the beginning of classes and easy to take down at the end, maximizing the time for bouncing. When it comes to storing the T2K Jr. Mini Tramp, the legs fold away to almost flat, making this product easily storable against a wall, behind a safety mat and out of the way.
Follow T2K online to keep up to date with our latest products and to stay tuned for more videos and blogs: https://www.facebook.com/Tracks-2000-International-Ltd-118838394860605/
The Academy Portishead
Following the success and positive feedback from the Sapphire Invitational we were proud to install a new T2K Spring Floor for The Academy in Portishead. With rising stars such as Ruby Harrold training at The Academy the choice of Sprung Floor was paramount to the clubs continued success.
Liz Kincaid spoke with various suppliers and settled on a Tracks 2000 Sprung Floor, we installed the Floor over a weekend building a completely custom size Floor to fit into the existing space surrounded by walls, a pit podium and a beam matted area.
The club has been more than happy with the Floors performance and have been kind enough to provide the following testimonial:
Following years of loyal support from Sapphire Gymnastics when it was time to purchase a new Sprung Floor for their yearly competition The Sapphire Invitational we were more than happy to help out and build them a 14m x 14m Competition Sprung Floor.
We delivered and fitted the Spring Floor on the Friday just in time for the competition to begin, the feedback over the weekend was very positive the full Testimonial can be found below:
We are very pleased to announce that this week Tracks 2000 became one of the Commercial Supporters for SportCheerGB. The hard work from all at SportCheerGB along with the communication of all UK based Event Providers has given the UK a strong platform to finally get Cheerleading recognised as a standalone sport by Sport UK and Sport England.
Taken from the SportCheerGB Website they have outlined their achievements over the past two years:
What have we achieved?
With good will and hard work, a lot has already been achieved for cheerleading in Britain:
- We have met with SportUK and Sport England (the government organisation responsible for all sport in this country). In our last meeting, they confirmed that:
- SportUK recognises cheerleading as a distinct sport (That is, they recognise that cheerleading is a sport and do not think it is a “branch” of another sport)
- SportUK recognises SportcheerGB as the only governing body of that sport and are supporting us to work towards full recognition as soon as possible so that the government can work with us (and we can work with government) to promote and develop cheerleading and to ensure that standards are maintained and that the country is represented in international competition.
- They believe that when full recognition is achieved, cheerleading will be one of the major sports because so many participate.
- We have raised the bar in international competition. For example this year, England, Scotland & Wales are represented at ICU Worlds (the country vs. country championship) by unified teams. Team England Cheer, Team Scotland Cheer & Team Wales Cheer were selected by holding skills tryouts with the best athletes from any club or programme who have been coached by the best coaches from a number of top clubs and so are truly excellent, showing the very best of the British Cheerleaders.
- There are also a number of individual clubs selected to carry British colours in specific disciplines at the same competition as well as increasing numbers of British teams competing individually at IASF worlds - the world club competition.
- We are recognised by the International Cheer Union ensuring that cheerleading in this country is part of the international family and has input to decisions and development worldwide. In turn, the ICU is recognised by “Sport Accord” as the single international body governing cheerleading worldwide and so eligible for consideration in future for the Olympics.
- We have hammered out standards for safe and effective coaching: looking in detail at the training offered by different organisations, and different qualifications held by coaches, finding ways to recognise the common good practice across the industry and simplify it so that cheerleaders, parents, schools and universities will be able to make sense of it more easily and so have more confidence in our sport.
- Perhaps the biggest achievement is that rival groups, teams, companies and organisations have kept their separate competitive identities (which is a strength for cheerleading in this country) but also worked together well for the good of the sport we all love.
We hope our support along with the support of all UK Event producers and the Cheer community will help SportCheerGB achieve their ultimate goal of full recognition as a sport along with all the benefits associated to being a recognised sport.
For further details on SportCheerGB Please see their website - http://www.scgb.org.uk/index.php
This weekend (13th & 14th Feb. 2015) is a major competition UK University Cheerleading Nationals 2015 in the Future Cheer calendar. The event is hosted at the impressive Gelding Arena (formally the LG), and set up starts at eight am on Friday. Set up will include two full sprung floors, two tumble strips, two stretching areas, another dead floor as well as the staging and lighting.
Future Cheer spare no expense hiring the best possible arenas and providing the best possible equipment to ensure that every cheerleader that crosses the mat has the best possible experience all weekend long. This commitment to excellence and pushing boundaries in the Cheerleading community is why we love working with Future Cheer and will continue to support this expanding UK company for years to come.
Our very first Spring Cheer Floor was produced for Future Cheer over four years ago for their Bournemouth Nationals. It was a great success and we haven't looked back since, supplying clubs up and down the county with full and custom sized Spring Floors.
This time last year Future Cheer bought a complete competition Sprung Floor from Tracks 2000, Future Cheer were the first UK Cheer company to have their own FC logo in the centre of the competition and warm up floor. This Floor has now seen a full year's competition use and has travelled from Bournemouth right up to Glasgow and is now into the second season of competitions.
We are often asked very similar questions about our training aids including the Top Tumbler so we thought we would put together a short list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Q. What size Top Tumbler do we need for our club?
Baby Top Tumbler - Up to 100cm tall Tumblers
Original Top Tumbler - Between 100cm - 140cm tall
Big Daddy Tumbler - 140cm and taller
Q. How does the Top Tumbler work?
A. The Top Tumbler is a solid foam module shaped specifically to roll over only when the athlete commits to the flick. If incorrect technique is used the Top Tumbler wont rotate.
Q. What is the base section for?
A. The base can be used to secure the Top Tumbler in place making a Jr Vaulting Table
Q. What are the overall sizes of the Top Tumbler?
Baby Top Tumbler - 70cm long x 65cm wide x 70cm tall
Original Top Tumbler - 100cm long x 75cm wide x 90cm tall
Big Daddy Tumbler - 110cm long x 85cm wide x 110cm tall
Originally written & posted 17/06/2014