Dave walks the dog – with a yoyo

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They rocked the baby, walked the dog and travelled around the world – all with a yoyo.

German language students at Ashburton College had fun and some expert tuition while practising their language skills yesterday.

The teacher was a European yoyo champion, Dave Geigle. Within an hour students who had never handled a yoyo were performing basic tricks, along with improving their German language.

With national championships in many countries, yoyos are big business, particularly in Europe.

Although Mr Geigle is no longer competing, yoyos still feature in his life. He has a daytime job as a project manager with a German railway but has set up his own business selling yoyos on line.

Yoyos have developed from the models many of the older generation will remember. These days they have a bearing inside which helps them spin and has no friction which lets the user do more things with the string. Professional models are larger and have a bigger bearing which keeps them spinning much longer.

Practise makes perfect was the message Mr Geigle gave the students – both for improving yoyo and language skills.

At school, he would practise during breaks and could spend up to two hours a day with yoyo in hand.

Yoyos are continuing to develop, he said, with new models made of plastic and stainless steel, which allows them to spin for much longer.

Ashburton College German language students received expert yoyo tuition from German man Dave Geigle, right, a European champion.