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Pupils 'skip' school to visit Island 19 February 2008

A team of six Year 6 children from Seer Green School, Beaconsfield, England, are visiting the Island in the week commencing 25th February 2008 to demonstrate their exceptional skipping skills.

In total, seven primary schools will be visited by the children from Seer Green School. This is the latest in a series of visits that has been organised for Manx schools.

An initiative this time is that the Seer Green pupils will lead three after-school Advanced Skipping Workshops for young people, two in Douglas and one in the South. This will help pupils develop their skills learnt in previous visits by trainers from Skipping Workshops UK.

The visits are organised by a partnership between the Skimmee Gien Mie (Team Well-being) of the Department of Education and the DHSS Public Health Directorate. All the visits are funded by IoM Anti-Cancer as a long-term project to encourage young people to be more physically active.

Lee James, skipping coach from Skipping Workshops UK, will also be over working in schools. Skipping Workshops wants to strengthen the links between the Isle of Man and the UK to inspire the Island’s schools further as they have recognised a great potential for skipping to grow on the Island.

The pupils have already broken a British record for long rope skipping at the end of the 2007 Summer term and children from Sulby School are on course to do the same with the “Face to Face” skipping challenge.

Local pupils have a number of skipping challenges on the website www.skipping.gov.im and they can go online and log their results on the Manx Skipping Challenge leader boards.

The site is linked with Skipping Workshops UK and has been created to inspire and motivate children to become more active. The website includes specific categories for infant, juniors and secondary pupils.

Lindsay Riordan, of Skimmee Gien Mie, said:

‘The reintroduction of skipping into schools has had a major impact on increasing the amount of physical activity in our schools and has proved to be very popular. It is great to see the initiative develop with the visit of the Seer Green pupils.’

Michelle Flanagan, Health Promotion Officer at the DHSS, said:

‘Skipping is a fun activity that can help keep young people fit and healthy. It also promotes inclusion in schools. We are delighted to invite these children from England to help promote this kind of activity.’

Carol Cowin, of IoM Anti-Cancer, said:

‘We are delighted to continue our partnership with the DoE and DHSS. We have been involved in this initiative from the start and it has been great to see the enthusiasm of local young people to skip both in and out of school. It has such positive benefits for health and we look forward to continuing our association with this project for a long time to come.’

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