Gymnastics South Africa have expressed their delight with the success of the inaugural Skipnation rope skipping challenge.
Skipnation was launched earlier this year in partnership with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and with the support of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, as well as the Department of Education.
The challenge was aimed to promote an active lifestyle for learners as well as exposing them to basic physical education. The challenge reached more than 170 schools across South Africa.
President of Gymnastics South Africa, Donovan Jurgens, was delighted that the challenge was able to afford GSA the opportunity to work with various departments in government to implement basic fitness programs in schools.
“Rope Skipping in a Box and the Skipnation Challenge allowed us to hold hands with various government departments and implement a basic fitness programme at many schools in the country.
“Not only did we achieve that goal, but in the process ignited the interest in a gymnastics discipline which offers a life-changing opportunity to so many,” he added.
The Skipnation challenge was hosted virtually and all entrants were encouraged to submit a video displaying how many skips they can achieve in 30 seconds. A total of 321 entries were received, with 40 schools and clubs submitting results.
Keo Mokolopo-Meyer, the 2nd Vice-President of GSA expressed the organisation’s delight in the participation and good reception that was received for the challenge’s first event.
“We have an abundance of Rope Skipping talent in South Africa and if this first competition is anything to go by, we’re sure to see more South Africans at the World Champs for Rope Skipping in the future. Rope Skipping offers everyone the opportunity to stay fit and to engage in physical exercise on a daily basis. We’re looking forward to the next Skipnation Challenge and will continue to build this programme in South Africa.”
The challenge was split into two speed components: Basic jump – Jump with two feet together and Speed Run – Run with feet alternating (only counting right foot). These two speed components were implemented across the 16 categories of the challenge. The full list of the winners can be found on the GSA website.
Marti Heri, GSA’s Development Manager adds, “Promoting health and fitness is at the forefront of our Skipnation goals, but with the current pandemic we also wanted to promote social interaction and life skills while complying with lockdown regulations and school closures by encouraging physical activity.
“The organisation is planning a follow-up challenge later this year where participants can learn any new rope skipping skills they may have learnt from the current challenge. This will lead to learning prescribed routines for future school competitions then to progress for higher levels and club participation,” Heri concluded.
Photo Caption: Students at Kakamas primary in the Northern Cape were excited to receive their equipment and try out the skipping ropes as part of the Skipnation challenge. Photo: Gymnastics SA (Twitter)