Naana Oppon has been selected for the British tumbling team for the 2023 World Trampoline Gymnastics Championships in Birmingham starting next week, and for her first senior British Championships in September, she became the British champion, which makes it her seventh British title as a tumbler so far. Also this year, Naana represented Great Britain at the Coimbra World Cup in July, winning Silver for her senior international debut, and her previous competitions have included the Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competition in Sofia last year, and the 2022 European Championships in Rimini, winning junior Team Gold alongside Jaeda-Lei Jeffers and Alicia Field. For her training, Naana attends Pinewood Gymnastics Club, and she is hoping to compete next year for her first senior European Championships. Talking to us, Naana answered our questions about being selected for the British tumbling team for this month’s World Trampoline Gymnastics Championships, becoming British champion earlier this year and winning junior Team Gold at the European Championships in Rimini in 2022.
You have been selected for the British team heading to the 2023 World Trampoline Gymnastics Championships this month, how are you preparing for the competition?
I am preparing for the World Championships by increasing the intensity of my training, practicing my runs continuously to improve and perfect them and I have been working very hard leading up to the competition.
What are you looking forward to for competing at a home Championships in Birmingham?
I am looking forward to having lots of familiar faces in the crowd and the amazing atmosphere.
How did you feel competing at your first senior British Championships in September and what was it like becoming the senior women’s British champion?
Competing at the British Championships as a senior this year was very nerve-racking but it was a great experience and becoming British champion made me very proud of myself and my hard work and determination.
Having won seven British titles over your career so far, what are the British Championships like to compete at and do you remember what it was like being named the British champion for the first time?
I do remember my first British Championships! And I remember not worrying about the people I was against, I only focused on my routines and landing them. And when I did and became British champion for the first time I felt on top of the world!
How did you find the experience representing Team GB at the Coimbra World Cup in July for your senior international debut?
Competing in Coimbra earlier this year was an unforgettable experience. I went into the competition already proud that I was selected for the team, then winning a silver medal really made me realise my potential as a senior in this sport!
What was it like winning Silver at the Coimbra World Cup and collecting your medal?
Collecting my silver medal at the World Cup in Coimbra was very gratifying and a self-affirming experience, to say I was proud of my achievement is an understatement!
How was it becoming the tumbling 15-16 World champion at the Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competition in Sofia last year?
Becoming 15-16 World Age Group champion last year was a very elating feeling as I was very unwell and didn’t expect myself to do as well as I did.
At the 2022 European Championships in Rimini, you won junior Team Gold with your British teammates Jaeda-Lei Jeffers and Alicia Field, how was this?
The European Championships may have been one of the most amazing and joyful competitions I have ever attended. My teammates and I worked hard and earned the medal, and my performance at that competition was one of my best.
Where does your love of gymnastics come from and how did you get into it?
My love for gymnastics came from a very young age as I was a very bubbly and active child, my mum decided to put me in various different sports and I fell in love with tumbling and the thrill and power of it.
How have you found transitioning to senior level and what do you enjoy most about being a tumbler for Great Britain?
Transitioning from being a junior to a senior wasn’t easy but I found the experience eye-opening and positively humbling! I love the support and pride I get out of competing for GBR the most.
What does a typical training day at Pinewood Gymnastics Club look like for you and how much has your training changed over time?
A typical session at Pinewood is usually two-and-a-half to three hours and the majority consists of my training on track before a little bit fast track and trampoline and lastly conditioning and stretching. Over time, the days I train and the hours have changed but I have easily adapted to the changes.
Have you been given any advice over your time as a tumbler so far that has stuck with you?
This isn’t really advice that I have gotten but when I first started competing in major competitions when I was about eight, I said to myself “never doubt yourself” and that has definitely stuck with me over the years.
How do you like to spend your time away from gymnastics?
Outside of the gym, I love to read, draw and listen to music! But heavy on the reading and music, I do that a lot!
Apart from the World Championships, do you have any competitions coming up that you can tell us about or that you are targeting?
The European Championships are coming up next year and I would love to compete in it as a senior for the first time!
Follow Naana on: