"My goal is to power through aerial skiing and to compete as a World Cup athlete."
Deakin law student and elite athlete Harrison Tullberg has been accepted to participate in a new sports transition program to train with Australia’s aerial skiing team, the Flying Kangaroos.
One of only two Australian men invited to the program, Harrison, 19, started his sporting career as a gymnast, then trampolinist and moved onto aerial skiing after discovering his passion for winter sports on the slopes at Mt Buller.
Getting his talents recognised by the Flying Kangaroos, he recently honed his new skills on snow at a training camp in Utah and now trains at a water ramp facility near Lilydale most days of the week.
‘The selection process to become a Flying Kangaroo is lengthy. There are high expectations and I feel even more special coming into the sport as a trampolinist as opposed to an artistic gymnast.
‘Apart from having performed in the sphere of elite gymnastics at a high level, other aspects taken into account during the selection process are work ethic, ability to adapt, approach to skiing and teamwork,’ he says.
Supported by the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, Harrison aims to represent Australia at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
‘I really took notice of aerial skiing at the 2014 Olympics last year. It was incredible watching these guys launch themselves 15 metres in the air performing multiple, twisting triple somersaults. I was so impressed.
‘My goal is to power through aerial skiing and to move from the development level to compete as a World Cup athlete. Meanwhile I’ll continue to study for my Bachelor of Laws part-time.’
Harrison, who won the Australian 17+ men’s trampoline title at the Australian Championships last year, explains that combining a busy law degree with his sporting pursuits is a juggling act and requires a lot of dedication and discipline.
‘It’s incredibly tough. I manage to find balance though and fit time in for both - even though it means making sacrifices.
‘I specifically chose Deakin above the rest because of how accommodating the degrees are for everyone. Sport requires me to train and travel all over the world and the online component of my course absolutely encourages that.’
With a belief that anything is possible Harrison now pursues his aspirations of reaching Olympic level, as well as setting himself up for a career in law.
View a video clip about Harrison, originally featured on the Today Show (Channel 9).