“There’s absolutely no feeling in the world like trampolining,” explains Mamelodi resident, Offering Tlaka, 26. “It’s got the adrenaline rush of skydiving, just much cheaper.”
But banish any perceptions of wild leaping and flailing limbs. This is a precision sport, especially at the Olympic level. An asymmetrical knee or hair out of place decides medal positions in this game of ballistic poetry.
Tlaka has no problem with that: “I’m all about the clean and perfect method. It’s the same style I apply when teaching younger athletes and in the rest of my life.”
This exactitude has earned Mpumalanga-born Tlaka finals berths at the 2013 World Championships in Bulgaria and the 2012 Loule Cup in Belgium, as well an elusive spot at the 2017 World Games.
And it must stand him well studying accountancy at the University of Pretoria and running his own gym.
Now boasting official “world-class status” with the global body, you could say that Tlaka is moving in leaps and bounds and is now just inches away from his dream of appearing for South Africa in the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.