Rope jumpers

Young athletes will be hopping in Colwood

Locals jump rope their way into the provincials at Royal Bay

Some Royal Bay secondary students will soon have a little more jump in their step.

The Jump Rope Provincial Championships are coming to the West Shore for the first time, with the school welcoming more than 100 athletes for the event this week, including 22 from Greater Victoria.

“The second I walked into the (Royal Bay) gym, I dreamed of holding the provincials there, because it is so beautiful,” said Kim Stewart, a board member with the Victoria-based Island Hoppers Precision Jump Rope Team. “I bragged sickeningly about the new school and I’m excited to see what an amazing school and area we have out here.”

Athletes from Penticton, Abbotsford and Nelson are among the six teams making trips from across British Columbia for the competition, which sees opening ceremonies Friday (April 22) and jumping events Saturday and Sunday.

Featured individual and team events include freestyle, double dutch and a variety of speed and power competitions that will pit the province’s best jump ropers against each other. It’s a sport that involves some of the best young athletes Stewart said she’s ever seen.

“For their easiest event at 30 seconds, they are jumping anywhere in 70’s and 80’s, and that is only counting every time one foot hits the floor,” she explained.

“The athleticism involved in jumping rope and the strength these girls have blows me away. They are strong in mind and in their bodies and you see it on the floor.”

Stewart’s daughter Paige, a 15-year-old Royal Bay student, is performing in her fifth provincials, a competition she still finds herself impressed with no matter how many times she participates.

“(It’s) a bit nerve-wracking because some of my friends are coming to see me,” she said of competing in her hometown and school gym.

“(But) I am feeling pretty good (and) I’m really excited for it. I like seeing all the different routines and it’s always such a positive environment.”

Opening ceremonies get underway at 6 p.m. Friday, with competition happening from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 23 and 24. Admission is free.

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