Tuesday 25 June 2019

Boy bouncing on trampoline in wheelchair becomes viral star

Wyatt Burggraff, who has spina bifida, just wants to bounce faster.

(TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics)
(TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics)

By Alistair Mason, Press Association

A four-year-old boy bouncing on a trampoline in his wheelchair is taking the internet by storm.

A video of Wyatt Burggraff, who has spina bifida, jumping at TNT Kid’s Fitness & Gymnastics was posted on Thursday and has racked up six million views in under a week.

Who says that you can’t jump on a trampoline when you’re in a wheelchair? Not TNT! Wyatt keeps saying...

Posted by TNT Kid's Fitness & Gymnastics on Thursday, February 14, 2019

In the video, taken at a fundraising event at the gym which operates as a non-profit organisation, Wyatt can be heard asking coach Nate Hendrickson to go “faster”.

It’s a far cry from the young boy who first showed at the fitness centre in Fargo, North Dakota, where he now goes regularly.

Nate told the Press Association: “When Wyatt first came he was really nervous and anxious about any fast movements. Even turning on his wheelchair too fast was too much.

“This is the culmination of many different repetitions and exercises.”

The video delighted Wyatt’s dad, Eric Michael Burggraff.

ipanews_a83c7362-dddb-4e0a-bf48-a8c9be06e539_embedded1894601
(TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics)

Eric said the family first decided to take Wyatt to the gym to help him both physically and socially.

He told the Press Association: “We thought gymnastics would be great to build his strength and his confidence, because he was really in some ways a fearful kid, and it’s really done those things in spades.”

He added: “He has really gained in confidence. They’ve worked with Wyatt a lot. With assistance he’ll climb on the rock climbing wall now and before he wouldn’t even touch it. It’s been fun to see him gain in confidence.”

For the staff at TNT, whose mission statement is “unlocking potential through movement”, the video is nothing out of the ordinary.

It represents the work they do every day, not only with kids with disabilities but all different sections of society, including veterans, people with Parkinson’s and adults with learning difficulties.

ipanews_a83c7362-dddb-4e0a-bf48-a8c9be06e539_embedded1894611
(TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics)

For the video to be getting such widespread attention is gratifying for Nate, who holds the title of special needs director at the centre.

“It’s quite amazing from my perspective as a coach that people respect the experience we’re providing for these kids,” he said.

Wyatt himself remains largely oblivious to the fuss being made over him all over the world.

But dad Eric hopes the video can have a positive impact.

“I’m pleased he’s able to show his abilities,” Eric said. “He doesn’t speak for all people with disabilities, but I hope it shows that no matter what the disability, everyone has worth and anyone can make a difference.”

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News