Mount Si High School junior Rammy O’Keeffe competed in baseball, football and karate throughout the majority of his childhood.
The 16-year-old sports enthusiast decided to give up all those sports just prior to the start of his freshman year at Mount Si High School in the fall of 2016. O’Keeffe, who first jumped on a trampoline as a 13-year-old three years ago, is completely focused and immersed in an emerging sport titled, “Garden Trampoline.” It is a flipping sport involving individuals partaking in a multitude of tricks and flips on trampolines.
O’Keeffe got hooked on doing flips on trampolines immediately after his first couple of jumps three years ago.
“I just remember going on my friend’s trampoline and falling in love with it. My parents bought me one for Easter. Later in the year, my parents recognized how much I loved it and got me a nicer trampoline for Christmas,” O’Keeffe said.
O’Keeffe is proud to be part of the budding “Garden Trampoline” community. The sport utilizes social media like no other and has resulted in the sport spreading across the globe at a rapid pace. Instagram videos is one of the most popular methods of communication for “Garden Trampoline” competitors.
“’Garden Trampoline’ got its name from these guys who were in Switzerland. That is how it started, They were jumping on trampolines in their garden and that is how the name started. Now it has evolved into more of a freestyle trampoline,” O’Keeffe said.
O’Keeffe credits social media for putting the sport on the map.
“G-Tram (‘Garden Trampoline’) is where you teach yourself based on what your peers do. It is a social media interactive type of sport where you see someone do something and you learn from them. You try to one up them and do better. That is kind of what the sport of G-Tram is. I started learning how to do stuff because of social media. Social media is huge and has impacted the whole sport,” O’Keeffe explained.
The sport is not only his passion but has enabled O’Keeffe to make connections, which will last a lifetime.
“One of my good friends lives in Wisconsin. This sport allows people to branch out to people all over the country and the world. I wouldn’t know my best friend (Jaxon Cosina) who lives in Central Washington (Wenatchee). Social media is such a big influencer because it really brings everyone together. We can all interact and talk over the social media platform, which is huge,” O’Keeffe said.
O’Keeffe has competed in several “Garden Trampoline” events over the past few years. Most recently, O’Keeffe traveled to Denmark for the prestigious Ollerup Training Camp for the European GTGames. O’Keeffe was sponsored by the Greg Roe Trampoline and Skybound Trampoline organizations and spent from July 31-Aug. 6 in Denmark.
“The competition there was crazy. There were kids from Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Sweden. I ended up winning one of the events,” he said.
O’Keeffe’s mother Chatty is thrilled her son discovered his passion.
“He played every single sport growing up and then when he became a freshman he came to me and said, ‘I’m not going to play those sports anymore. I’m going to throw 100 percent of my energy into this (‘Garden Trampoline’)’. As a parent for sports, you want your kids to be dedicated and self motivated. You don’t want to drive that show. From that point forward, he has driven this bus and has decided this is exactly what he wants to do,” Chatty said of her son. “Just being a part of this process and community is pretty amazing for a 16-year-old. All of these athletes are competitive and they are all about supporting each other and helping each other. Social media offers a special aspect to it.”
O’Keeffe has big dreams for his favorite sport and is hopeful it will continue to expand its reach.
“I want to see it in the X Games and I want to see it super publicized,” he said. “Thirty years ago, freestyle snowboarding really wasn’t a thing and now it’s one of the most viewed things on the X Games. I want to be part of the evolution of this new sport and want to help it grow. My all-time goal is to have my own gym that is specialized for G-Tram.”