Annabelle Duffy - Tumbler - US Glove Brand Ambassador
Nearly two years ago, Australian native, Annabelle Duffy decided to give tumbling a try after searching for a new activity to keep herself active. Now, with an abundance of new friends she’s made through the sport—not to mention countless skills she’s mastered—it’s clear that decision transformed her life.
Like both of her sisters, Annabelle started in dance, which is something of a Duffy household staple—even her mom practiced calisthenics back in the day. Only after moving on from dance, did Annabelle gravitate towards tumbling. Armed only with an AirTrack and the advice from a few tumbler friends, she went to work teaching herself new skills nearly every day. “I just sort of winged it,” the 14-year-old said with a laugh. That unconditional approach quickly paid off, and in just one year she evolved from cartwheels and walkovers to landing double fulls on a trampoline.
At the beginning of 2020, Annabelle intended to make the jump from recreational tumbling to competitive and joined a local gym; however, the Covid-19 Pandemic arrived before she could actually participate in a competition. Despite her inaugural meet being put on hold indefinitely, Annabelle is still immensely thankful to have gone that route. “Everyone there is so nice and it’s a really good community I know I can rely on,” Annabelle said.
Finding a community has been the quintessential theme of Annabelle’s experience with tumbling, thanks in part to how connected athletes have become through the ‘Gymternet’, a network of gymnasts and tumblers who foster close relationships through likes, comments, and chats on social media, despite many never meeting in person. This certainly rang true in Annabelle’s case: “We’ve got a tumblers chart we started in March of last year and a few people were in it and they added their friends with tumbling accounts and it’s been growing on and on,” Annabelle explained. “We had massive meetups down at the beach, but even before we’d meet, we would get quite close.”
Tumbling has certainly afforded Annabelle a second home, yet the physically demanding activity has taken its toll on her chronically weak wrists. “I’ve always had really weak wrists; I could barely tumble because I’d be in so much pain,” she said. She found her solution under the Christmas tree last year. “My Mum got me a pair of US Glove’s Tiger Paws for Christmas last year and I’ve used them nearly every day. They really helped me build up the strength in my wrists and I’ve just felt a lot safer doing skills.”
Annabelle is in the ninth grade—high school—and says her schooling is pretty similar to her American peers, sans a few smaller details like being required to wear uniforms and their schools having significantly smaller lockers. She points to cooking as her favorite class—after all, what’s not love about eating—even though she’s the first to admit her culinary masterpieces tend to come out a little on the burnt side. Although Annabelle once saw herself becoming a primary school teacher, these days she’s not totally sure what path she’ll pursue after high school. Luckily for her, that’s still a ways away.
Trying something new and persevering through challenges can be incredibly difficult. Annabelle embodies the kind of determination and courage that we at US Glove consider to be superpowers. We are incredibly lucky that Annabelle is a part of the US Glove Brand Ambassador family! #unleashyoursuperpower