National Spotlight Series
Ty Swadling has had an extremely successful trampoline career thus far, and in 2019, he continued to deliver outstanding performances which saw him take home the prestigious Senior Men's Individual Trampoline title at the Australian National Championships, for the second year running. Following this event, Ty was selected to represent Australia at the World Championships, which will take place in Tokyo, 28th November - 1st December. This is set to be an exciting competition for the trampolinists as it boasts as an Olympic qualification event for the 2020 Games.
When did you first start gymnastics and why?
I started Trampoline in 2001 after watching Jai Wallace win a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games. I fell in love with the sport immediately and made my first Australian team the following year.
How often do you train?
My training schedule has changed significantly over the years, depending on what's going on in my life. Right now I can train anywhere between 3 and 6 trampoline sessions and two or three weights sessions, however, being a new father and having taken on a Head Teacher position at work, my training can vary. Luckily my coach, Brett Austine, is very understanding and flexible in his schedule. This allows me to train when it best suits my family and work, ensuring I remain stress free and balanced, whilst working towards my goals.
Do you do any other sports or types of training?
As mentioned, I do strength and conditioning sessions from week to week involving weight training, developing movements and postures specific to trampoline. I am a PDHPE teacher by trade, so I have an interest in all things sport. Through my job, I get the opportunity to coach students in all kinds of sports and at times, even get to play myself.
Who is your gymnastics idol?
My greatest idols in the sport have always been the athletes I compete against and train with. Over my years on the NSW and Australian Team I have always been lucky enough to compete against and train alongside such talented athletes. Having athletes around you who are better than you helps to push you along. They challenge you to be better, jump higher, go bigger. I truly do idolise my peers in the sport, watching them achieve and achieving myself because of the challenge they put up is what makes this sport amazing to be apart of.
What is the best experience you have had in the sport?
My recent performances at the Australian Championships were extra special because my 8 month old son Cooper and my wife Christine were in the stands to watch me win. This was extra special because the difficulties of adjusting to life as a family, new Dad and still training, were challenging to overcome.
2018 was also a really enjoyable year. I won a silver medal in Colombia in Synchronised Trampoline with a close friend and a bronze in Russia at the World Championships with another close friend. Two great experiences.
What was the best thing about National Championships 2019?
The NSW men's trampoline team has claimed the gold medal in the team event every year since the event started. It makes me proud to be a part of that and to win again is still one of the most enjoyable parts of National Championships every year.
Who would you thank the most for helping achieve your goals at National Championships and why?
My coach has been there for me since day one. He has never given up on me and made significant adjustments over the years to make the training schedule work around my life. High school, university, married life and now life as a father have all been challenges that our partnership as coach and athlete has revolved through. Cannot thank him enough. My parents have also been a huge support network over the years and I would not be here without them.
However, in the very recent months, my wife Christine, a former World Championship athlete has been my greatest support. She has made it possible for me to continue, often picking up my slack around the house and with the baby and doing an amazing job as a mother and coach. Her resilience is incredible.
What is your goal for the next 12 months in Gymnastics?
I am taking my trampoline career one day at a time, one competition at a time. The next goal is to repeat performance at the National Clubs Championships on the Gold Coast. I have a heap of training days and, work weeks and nappies to change in that time. So at the moment, it's small steps and small goals from day to day.
What has been the hardest thing to overcome so far in Gymnastics and how did you get through it?
My career has presented a number of challenges over the years. Injury, surgery. disappointment, success when others have not been successful and the ever challenging juggle of sport, career and family. However, I have been incredibly well supported over the years with good people around me to tell me when things are not working or when I need to be tougher or get over something. So to be honest, I have enjoyed every moment, even the struggles and it's easy to look back now and see that what seemed stressful then, was not really a big deal. All athletes have had to overcome these things, it's a part of sport.
What do you do outside of the gym?
As I said I am Head Teacher PDHPE at Cessnock High School. I love my job and get to work with kids every day. If who I am can influence or inspire my students to preserve or to be better, then I would consider my career an absolute success.
Right now I enjoy quality time with my son, wife and family and the occasional catch up with old friends. Besides that, a social game of tennis or a camping trip would be my next priority.
What do you love about gymnastics?
I genuinely love training. Every day, I have the opportunity to bounce high, learn new skills, push myself and enjoy the friendly competition within our training squad. Getting to train every day with good mates. Even without competitions or the opportunity to travel, just training would be enough for me.