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Second annual Celebration of Skipping Awards 30 June 2008

A YEAR’S worth of practicing tricks and skills with a skipping rope in the playground will come to an end with the second annual Celebration of Skipping.

This year it is kindly hosted by last year’s winner of the overall school skipping award, Rushen Primary School.

All the Island’s primary schools have been invited to take part in the celebration morning, to be held on Friday 18 July, which will give pupils of all ages a chance to demonstrate skipping skills that they have set to music. Five schools from across the Island have taken up the challenge to perform. The celebration comes at the end of a year where skipping has continued to be very popular.

The Department of Health and Social Security’s Public Health Directorate, along with the Department of Education’s Skimmee Gien Mie (Team Wellbeing), supported by Isle of Man Anti Cancer Association, have been working hard to promote skipping as a healthy physical activity in schools.

The partnership has, over the past few years, organised visits from skipping coaches from the UK to the majority of the Island’s primary and secondary schools. This year a visiting team of Year 6 skippers from Seer Green Primary School in Buckinghamshire toured a number of primary schools. Public Health now has a qualified level one rope skipping coach on its team who can go into schools and encourage the development of skipping among pupils of all ages.

As part of the project, there is a skipping challenge website www.skipping.gov.im

Pupils can log on and record their scores for certain challenges on a leaderboard. The site was updated earlier this year to include challenges for infant pupils.

The celebration morning will provide a platform for schools to show all they have learned in a creative way, but it will also celebrate the achievements of the Manx Skipping Challenge. Prizes will be awarded for the top leader board position in every category, and an overall school achievement award is presented annually.

Public Health and Skimmee Gien Mie have increased physical activity in schools through skipping. This is as part of the Healthy Futures initiative that both Departments are helping to deliver Island-wide.

Skipping is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, enhance co-ordination, cooperation and cardio vascular fitness. It helps to build strong bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis in later life. It also promotes teamwork in some of the games the pupils have learnt such as “Double Dutch” and “Keep the Pot Boiling”. Most importantly, young people have real fun with an activity that can last a lifetime.

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