AVONDALE -- Given a choice, a talented brother and sister from Avondale would rather fly than walk anytime -- and they’re doing it..
Joseph, 15, and Brianna, 13, Kozlowski are world class trampoline gymnasts who have already won international competitions and for whom the future looks bright.
The two started bouncing around at KMC gymnastics center in New Garden when Joseph was about 6 and Brianna was about 4.
As their father, Joe, tells it, Brianna was taking dance, and, to fill in the time, Joseph enrolled in a youth trampoline course. They were so good, even at that young age, that their parents entered them in a national competition in Chicago, and Joseph came in third.
From there, their schedules became more and more loaded with meets and practices.
They’ve traveled far and wide to places like England, Portugal, Texas and Holland, and brought home ribbons from all over.
Joseph is in 10th grade and Brianna in eighth, both of them at the Avon Grove Charter School. They travel a lot, but the school works with them.
“I tell my teachers in advance, and I do a lot of work on the plane,” Joseph said.
Joe said, “The Charter School is accommodating, and both of them are doing very well.”
Most recently they returned from an international competition in Daytona Beach, Fla., where they both made the world age group team. They also both earned first place honors on the synchro competition, and placed in the individual competitions.
Synchro means a gymnast and a partner of the same gender bounce in an almost mirror image routine on two separate trampolines.
Joseph’s partner was from Missouri, so they had little time to practice before the meet -- although they texted each other from afar beforehand. Brianna’s partner was from New Jersey, where she works out, and they were able to practice ahead of time.
Currently, Joseph has made the U.S. Junior National Team, and Brianna just missed it.
The next international meet is for world championships and will be held in Sophia, Bulgaria, from Nov. 18 through 24.
Why do they travel so far and so often to meets?
With international meets occurring several times a year in many geographical locations, the results vary, and who the champion of the world is came come into question.
The goal of entering frequent meets for an elite trampoline gymnast, is to gather points that place him or her on the national team and eventually qualify them for Olympic tryouts.
Joseph said that is his goal, inasmuch as he will be 17 years old in 2016, is to make the U.S. team for the Olympics. It will be tough, though, because he will move from his status as a Junior Elite to the senior age group that is 17 and older.
Both practice at least six days a week, working out at KMC on weekdays and a gym in New Jersey on the weekends.
Brianna and Joseph aim for harder tricks to up their quality points. Brianna said she is hoping to achieve a full-in half-out, while Joseph wants to master a triple flip with a full turn.
They work out and travel under the coaching and chaperoning of their mother, Beverly. Joe said he “holds down the fort” when they are gone.
Does it ever stop or is everyday a trampoline day?
“Some Sundays we rest,” Brianna said.