It was clear, when Kim Beattie was backflipping her way through her early years, that gymnastics of some form was likely to be the path she would take. 

Her beginning in the sport was in the typical manner; toddler gymnastics classes led her to begin to take artistic gymnastics more seriously.  

But it was when she was introduced to trampolining at the age of 12 that her route to becoming a world-class athlete really opened up. 

“I’ve really not known a life without gymnastics - I remember learning to backflip and I loved being able to do that,” the 24-year-old said. 

“Then a trampoline coach asked me to come along to a session and it was incredible. Very quickly, I got very good at trampolining whereas I wasn’t making all that much progress in gymnastics. So it came to a point when I was about 16 that I needed to make a decision and that’s when I stopped gymnastics. It was a hard decision but I really love trampolining.” 

Beattie, from Aberdeen, goes into this week’s DMT World Championships with ambitions of making a real mark. 

It is a somewhat lesser known sport which involves athletes sprinting down a carpeted track and hurdling onto the apparatus before performing double and triple somersaults with the same precision required on a trampoline. The only difference is that gymnasts have to land on a trampoline bed less than a quarter the size of a trampoline, before performing a dismount on to a landing mat. 

The recent DMT European Championships saw Beattie, who is a five-time Scottish champion, play an integral part in the GB team that won gold in the team event and so with the squad in such good form, they are fully justified in going into these World Championships in Bulgaria brimming with confidence. 

At the previous World Championships, Beattie grabbed one of the eight available places in the individual final and she admits that another final appearance is certainly a target but the precise nature of the sport means the slightest error can prove extremely costly. That is, however says Beattie, the attraction. 

“It’s a sport that you need to be very accurate,” she says.  

“You have to be very precise with every movement and I love that challenge. 

“Even a tiny error can make a big difference and really cost you. 

“I’d definitely hope that a team medal is on the cards. 

“It’d be amazing to reach the individual final too - but all I’m trying to focus on is doing my best and doing what I do in training every day and if that’s good enough, that’s amazing.” 

That Beattie’s form has been so good this season has come as a considerable surprise to herself. 

Having been deprived of access to all facilities for almost a year over the course of the pandemic, she went into this season entirely unsure as to the impact such a break would make to her performance. 

But, in fact, the disruption resulted in a change of mindset that has proved extremely beneficial and is a significant reason she has been able to mix it with the world’s best on such a regular basis this year. 

“This is my first season back after the pandemic and it’s gone so much better than I expected,” she says.  

“It was a long time not competing – in total, I had 11 months of not being able to access facilities which was really tough and so it took a long time to rebuild. So this year was, for me, just about getting back into competition and enjoying it because it had been so long since I’d been out there. And after having my focus on just enjoying it, I’ve had one of my best seasons ever. 

“My mindset has changed completely – I always used to focus on results and scores but now, it’s been much more about enjoying the process. It’s easier said than done to not think about results but it’s made a huge impact.” 

DMT remains one of the lower-profile gymnastics disciplines, primarily due to the fact it is not included in the Olympic programme. 

But, believes Beattie, the continued success of the British athletes, and specifically the Scots, will pay dividends in the coming years in terms of recognition. 

“It’s a really great sport and we’re really strong at in Scotland and in Britain. It’s great to get some publicity – we’re still a new sport in the grand scheme of things so it’s good to see people becoming more interested in it,” she says.