It’s the Summer school holidays, and a hot, humid day in Adelaide. For many students the SA Aquatics & Leisure Centre would be the perfect location to spend the morning. The pool is huge, the inflatable slide inviting, and plenty of happy chatter can be heard from the dozens of young people enjoying the cool, refreshing water.
For many, it would be difficult to walk past this scene without joining in the fun, however for Year 10 student, Ben Lehmann, it’s the room behind the aquatics centre that contains the real gold.
Travelling to the South of Adelaide for 6 training sessions per week, dedicated and cheerful Ben Lehmann is pursuing his dream – to qualify for Gymnastics – Trampoline at an international level with the 2020 Olympics his ultimate goal.
Ben has only been back in the country for a couple of weeks, having recently competed in the Loule Cup in Portugal. He finished in the top 30 – an amazing achievement. On this hot, humid day, we visit Ben at his training venue to capture some images for our fresh new campaign.
As we walk into the room, one of Ben’s training partners and London Olympian, Blake is practising his routine – trampoline athletes can reach heights of up to 8 metres, and there is much precision in the somersaults and twists of the highly complex routines. Ben welcomes us with a smile and introduces us to one of his two Coaches, Nikolay (Ben trains with both Nikolay and Viktor Zhuravlev). Nikolay is happy to see us, and points out the Olympic flag, proudly and distinctively positioned on the wall – a stark reminder of the rewards available to his dedicated team of athletes. The flag flutters gently under the air-conditioning flow, displaying the signatures of several athletes that Nikolay has trained to reach Olympic level. It serves as inspiration and motivation for the 2016 Games and beyond.
Fellow athlete Claire also welcomes us, having also recently competed with Ben and Blake in Portugal. Claire has also completed Year 12 in recent years, and understands the dedication and perseverance required to balance an Olympic dream with school work. A balance that Ben also achieves – the after school car travel to training in Adelaide becomes Ben’s study room, and his strong results reflect a dedication to his studies as much as his athletic pursuits. Ben’s other talents and passions include art, and design, and are subjects he particularly enjoys whilst at school.
Also in the room, and proudly watching as son Ben twists and dives on the trampoline in front of the camera, Nicki Lehmann reflects “Ben just loves being on a trampoline. You would think there would be some days when he doesn’t feel up to it, but every single time he is on the trampoline, there is a huge smile on his face.” Nicki goes onto to say “the Olympics for Ben is his dream, it is the Everest that one day he hopes to climb. We have faith that his dedication to his sport will one day get him there.”
We also have faith in him. Go Ben!