Jack Penny retires from trampoline gymnastics

Jumping high: Launceston trampoline gymnast Jack Penny was in the Australian shadow squad for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

Jumping high: Launceston trampoline gymnast Jack Penny was in the Australian shadow squad for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

After 17 years of competition, Launceston’s Jack Penny has announced his retirement from the sport of trampoline gymnastics.

Jack has not only been a trail-blazer for the sport of gymnastics in Tasmania, but also a role model and leader in gymnastics for Australia

Tasmanian coach Ben Kelly

The multiple Australian representative was a member of the 2012 and 2016 Olympic shadow squads and drew the highest tribute from state coach Ben Kelly.

“Jack has not only been a trail-blazer for the sport of gymnastics in Tasmania, but also a role model and leader in gymnastics for Australia,” Kelly said. 

“Looking back over a successful career it is obvious to see that his impact and reputation reaches far beyond the Tasmanian gymnastics community.

“His competition history demonstrates an impressive feat of sporting resilience, determination, and sportsmanship of the highest order.”

The 28-year-old Tasmanian Institute of Sport scholarship holder began gymnastics in 2001 at the Launceston PCYC but soon made the switch to trampoline and was invited to join the state talent identification squad.

Having first represented Tasmania at the 2002 Australian championships in Gosford, Penny made his first Australian team for the 2003 Trans-Tasman challenge in Auckland.

He has represented Australia 20 times winning 17 national and five Indo-Pacific titles including senior men’s individual trampoline (2012) and double-mini tramp (2008 and 2010).

His first world age championships were in 2005 and senior world championships four years later.

Establishing numerous Tasmanian records, Penny competed at the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017 world championships under national coach and former world champion, Brett Austine.

He performed a personal best at the final Olympic Games trial event at the 2016 Australian championships, qualifying first and finishing second behind South Australian Blake Gaudry. 

In his final event at the 2017 world championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, Penny finished eighth in the men’s synchronised trampoline with Black Rutherford (NSW).

Penny remains involved in strategic planning and is an FIG judge who officiated at the 2017 world age championships.