We have previously had a successful trial about how difficult trampolines are to put away.
This one takes it further in quoting the 1986 Codes of Practice for Trampolining which state folding them away “should be carried out by trained staff or under the direct supervision of trained staff, but by at least two strong trained persons”.
The reference to “strong trained people” is repeated in the British Gymnastics Trampoline Coach Qualification Resource pack and in an earlier 1984 Code of Practice.
In this case at a school the claimant was 12 years old and was folding a large continental sports trampoline with four or five other girls on one side and, alleged the Defendant, another teacher. The gym teacher and another set of girls were on the other side.
As the claimant’s side was raised to vertical it suddenly snapped shut before the claimant had a chance to pull her hands out of the way. The idea is to get the trampoline to about 20 degrees and then move your elbows and hands away.
The claimant fractured her right wrist.
The defendant said that the claimant was being instructed and did not move her arms out of the way quickly enough.
The defendant did not call the second teacher on the girl’s side to give evidence, which the court found “quite interesting”.
The court said that, even if it had been proved that another teacher was helping, it had not been proved that he was” trained” in this activity. The Codes of Practice were there for a reason.
Even if he had been trained, then as the trained adult on the claimant’s side of the trampoline it was his responsibility to ensure that her arms were clear. There was negligence in ignoring the Codes of Practice.
There was no contributory negligence, as had been pleaded, for a 12-year-old girl in this situation.
Nottingham County Court, 16 July 2009.