Published: 11:00, 30 November 2016
| Updated: 11:12, 30 November 2016
The owner of a new £1m trampoline park in Chatham says he wants to get the sport on the school curriculum.
Flip Out in Dockhead Road, Chatham Maritime, opened to the public on Saturday and owner Mark McGill has teamed up with the Kent Sports Trust Foundation to offer trampoline sessions to primary schools.
The 18,500 sq ft park was opened by Chatham MP and sports minister Tracey Crouch and paralympic skiing gold medallist Charlotte Evans.
The centre, which has created 40 jobs, also has a 7m tumble track, free running area, an under-fives area and a foam pit.
Mr McGill, a former investment banker, decided to open the trampoline park as he wanted to start his own business with wife Susan.
The dad-of-two said: “I’m hoping to make it a family destination where everyone can come and bounce. I’ve been engaging with Kent Sports Trust because their goal is exercise for school children.
“Not all children are great at football or cricket but if they come and exercise by trampolining they’re having fun but it’s like exercise by stealth.
“I’m trying to get it onto the PE curriculum in as many Medway schools as we can. What we all need to do is encourage more and more children to exercise."
We all know the dangers about too much sugar, fast food and I’m keen to build something with the Kent Sports Trust to change that and to highlight it with people.
“You burn twice as many calories than running or cycling by trampolining and people don’t realise that. It’s quite low impact as well so unlike running there’s no stress on the joints. It’s good to strengthen muscle groups.”
Charlotte Evans said: “It’s really important to have an area where kids can come down and be involved in sport and try something new.
“As a kid I would have loved to have something like this. Trying new sports is really important, if you just try one sport it can cause burn out and boredom. If you try a variety of different sports it brings new skills to the sport you finally want to get into.”
Ms Crouch said: “Trampolining is a really popular activity right across the country and it’s a great way to exercise, socialise and have fun.
“Arenas like this provide a safe and enjoyable environment for people of all ages and with different levels of experience.”
Kent Sports Trust Foundation chief executive Steve Wolfe said: “We’re thrilled to have partnered with Flip Out who share our goal of getting trampolining onto the school curriculum across Medway.
“It’s great that there’s now another place in the county where people can come to have fun, while doing something which is good for their general health and wellbeing.
“Many people don’t realise that jumping on a trampoline for 20 minutes brings the same health benefits as running for an hour.”
Flip Out Chatham is open between 9am and 10pm Sunday to Thursday and 9am to 11pm Fridays and Saturdays.