Tampa, FL – The United States Trampoline and Tumbling Association, in collaboration with the Amateur Athletic Union and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, held its Stars of Tomorrow Competition at the University of South Florida Corral on February 19th and 20th. The USTA visits different areas of the country each year to gain exposure for a sport that is essentially in its infancy. The trampoline was introduced as a medaling event in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, four years after it was exhibited in Sydney.
200 participants from eight states competed in three events: power tumbling, trampoline, and double-mini trampoline. Winners over the weekend, competing in levels from beginner to elite, earn a trip to New Orleans later this year to take part in the Jr. Olympic Games. However, Patti Lingenfelter, Executive Director of the USTA, feels that there are more important things than winning, “The kids love every aspect of it, the traveling, the interaction with other kids, and most definitely the competition.”
Lingenfelter is not only the Executive Director of the USTA, but she is also a coach of 31 years, and brought her team south from Chicago. Her dedication and enthusiasm could clearly be seen, despite the chaotic nature of the gym, as the kids were bouncing, flipping, tumbling, and basically, just having fun.
The mission of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission is to attract, promote and/or organize major amateur sporting events and grassroots sporting programs that foster the ongoing development and quality of life for the Tampa Bay Area. The Sports Commission generated 25,482 hotel visitor room nights in the first quarter of the 2005 fiscal year, which results in $22,150,768.00 in direct spending by visitors.