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Flippin’ fantastic: BHS seniors ‘jump’ in to help a good cause
For most people, jumping rope is a supplemental form of exercise done to augment their actual routine.
Boxers jump rope, gymnasts jump rope and even weight lifters may warm up with a little rope-jumping action.
For a small group of local aficionados, however, jumping rope is a sport unto itself. In fact, they love it so much that they found a way to not only base their senior project for school around it, but also use it to help some less fortunate kids on the other side of the world.
Two senior members of the Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers, the island’s youth jump rope team, are staging a fundraising performance for the One World One Rope organization at 6 p.m. Friday, March 14 in Bainbridge High School’s Paski Gymnasium.
The show will feature not only the accomplished jumpers themselves, but also 15 younger members of the team as well as a special guest appearance by 10 world-renowned guest jumpers from the Hot Dog USA Jump Rope Team. The visiting team has performed regularly at NBA half-time events, as well as at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Sarah Sharman and Abigail Harrison, the BHS senior rope skippers organizing the event, said that they were inspired by previous team members’ similar senior project and decided to see if they could do it better.
Last year’s performance raised more than $2,500 and was attended by more than 500 spectators.
This year, they hope to make it even bigger.
“Some girls on our team did this for their senior project last year and the show was really fun,” Harrison said. “So we wanted to do it again this year.”
One World One Rope promotes healthy living and international friendships to children in Africa through jump rope events. The money raised at last year’s event payed for several young African jumpers to come to America to compete in the World Jump Rope Championships in Orlando, Fla.
“It started in Kenya and Tanzania,” Harrison explained. “[They] work with the kids at schools and orphanages and [they] teach them jump rope and they can travel, that’s where the money comes in, so they can travel around and put on shows.”
The aid and support of the Hot Dog USA team was easy to acquire, Sharman said.
Having jumped with them at multiple events before, the BHS seniors just sent them a request — a friend request.
“We’d jumped with them before and gotten to know them better,” she said. “So we sent them a message on Facebook and asked them if they were interested.”
They were, and then the preparations for the show began in earnest.
“Our Double Dutch routine we’ve been working on since September,” Harrison laughed. “And it’s only just now coming together.”
After brainstorming some tricks, they sat down and actually planned an order for the performance that would flow well and be entertaining, she said.
Sharman and Harrison are no strangers to high-pressure jump rope performances, having been jumping together for almost 10 years in such distinguished events as the 2007 West Coast Junior Olympics, the 2008 and 2010 USA Jump Rope National Championships and the 2010 World Youth Games in London.
In 2012 at the Grand World Jump Rope Championships in Washington, D.C. they brought home the Double Dutch speed title for all age categories.
The island rope experts are bringing all that talent and experience to their new roles as team supervisors and teachers for the younger jumpers.
“They understand and they want to look good when they perform,” Sharman said of instructing the younger team members. “It’s not that hard.”
For more information about the Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers and youth competitive jump rope opportunities, search for them on Facebook.