Sunday, November 8, 2015

1978 - 5th World Age Group Games, Honolulu

From all the enthusiasm, participation, happy faces and outstanding organization experienced at the 5th World Age Group Games, it certainly qualified to be among one the significant events in trampoline history! 

Over 375 athletes attended the competition that was held at Kapiolani Park, in Honolulu, Hawaii, July 19-23, 1978. Besides hosting the events of Trampoline, Synchronized Trampoline, Double-Mini Trampoline and Tumbling - - the 5th Games expanded to include Spaceball and Rebound Racing. As if that wasn't enough excitement - - Sports Acrobatics joined in adding the four events of: Girls Pairs, Boys Pairs, Mixed Pairs, Girls Trios and Men's Fours. 

In preparation, $100,000 worth of equipment was shipped to Hawaii by the event's sponsor, the Nissen Corporation. With so much equipment to tumble, flip and bounce on it was a wonder that competitors found the time to enjoy local amenities; but they did! By holding the competition in Kapiolani Park, which was located directly across the street from Waikiki Beach, the athletes soon discovered that even between events they could easily take a cooling dip in the ocean!
A sampling of events found at the 1978 5th World Age Group Games.
    When the 5th Games organizers learned of Hurricane Fico's path that was heading directly towards the islands, they quickly arranged for a special Hawaiian benediction as part of the opening ceremonies. 
The island gods must have smiled, as the weather remained sunny and clear for the entire week.
Opening Ceremonies - with Hawaiian priest and event organizers; Ron Munn, Dick Criley and George Nissen

Scenes from Kapiolani Park:
Tumbling (note early version of platform tumbling) and Trampoline areas. 
Spaceball area
Trampoline and Double-Mini Trampoline areas.
Scenes from the Luau Awards Banquet:

L-R: Paul Sanders-Hewett, Bob Fredsall, Shannon Fredsall, Gen McGrew, Don Zasadny,
Annie Nissen, George Nissen, Ron Munn, Christine Munn and Glenn Sundby


Ron Munn, Director of the 5th World Age Group Games
"The Games mirrored the joyous spirit of the acrobat, of the trampoline artist, 
of the tumbler, soaring ever higher, aspiring upward like a triple somersault, 
into the blue heavens."
Dan Millman 
Despite all the successes, this 5th World Age Group Games unfortunately was the last in the series that were sponsored by George Nissen and the Nissen Corporation. For it was during the following year in 1979, that due to mounting expenses from legal liabilities, the Nissen Corporation ceased trampoline production forever.


  1. Such a poignant and heartfelt time. I see Dian Nissen, Newt Loken, Ken and Joe Kovach of Euclid Ohio where I grew up, Steve Elliot, Leigh Hennessy, and other iconic figures of that era attended this event. Thanks for posting this.

    1. Thanks Stretch Sportguy! ...although Newt Loken didn't attend this event in Hawaii. Never the less, it was a grand event and enjoyed by all!

  2. Cindy Kwiek MoranoJuly 31, 2020 at 7:44 PM

    Get event and competition! We made so much fun. Thank you for posting these pictures.


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