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Island’s Primary Schools show off their skipping skills in Department of Health’s annual Celebration of Skipping 13 June 2011

The Department of Health’s fifth Celebration of Skipping event is to be held on the 17th June 2011 at the National Sports Centre (NSC), Douglas, from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon. The annual Celebration is organised by the Public Health Directorate, this year supported by Britannia International. This event is open to the public to attend.

Fairfield pupils skippingThis year the Celebration sees 10 “freestyle” rope skipping performances from Primary Schools across the Island who have taken up the challenge to devise their own creative skipping routine to a short piece of music. The event has grown bigger every year since its inception. Starting out in 2007 with a few teams in a school hall, the event has now grown to fill the main sports hall at the NSC. In the run up to the event schools have been offered the support to set up skipping clubs throughout the year, and have focussed on achieving Skipping Challenges. These challenges have been supported by Britannia International with the funding of both a new “Manx Skipping Challenge” logo, and the creation of posters for schools depicting and describing the challenges.

All the schools who have entered this non-competitive event have also received a special demonstration pack of ropes supplied by Britannia International, to enable them to use at the event and in the future. Mark Beresford, Managing Director of Britannia International commented,

“Health and the well-being of children is something we are always keen to support as part of our community plan. We have always taken our corporate social responsibility seriously at Britannia International and initiatives like the Manx Skipping Challenge fit perfectly with our commitment to inspire young people in the community”.

The Public Health Directorate supports skipping in schools as a way of encouraging more active pupils in a fun, non-competitive environment. Rope skipping can increase levels of fitness, improve muscle strength, coordination and balance, and build up bone strength. It is also a fantastic activity as it can be done in the playground or in lessons, on your own, with a friend or with a very large group.

Minister for Health, Mr David Anderson MHK, said,

“I’m delighted that this event continues to grow, enjoying huge support from schools and pupils across our Island. Physical activity, even in small amounts, can improve our quality of life and our health. Prevention is always better than cure; and the Department’s work with the Department of Education and Children and the Department of Community Culture and Leisure in recent years to raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating and physical activity demonstrates this.”

During the event prizes for the top achievement in each of the Manx Skipping Challenge categories will be awarded, and also the Isle of Man Anti Cancer Shield for the school with the best skipping achievements overall throughout the year. Last year the shield was awarded to Fairfield School, who currently hold Manx records for many of the skipping challenges. The Island’s schools are still unbeaten across the UK for two of the six challenge records, those being ‘Keep the Pot Boiling’ (continuous figure of eight team skipping) and face to face partner skipping, held by Rushen and Sulby schools.

The Celebration of Skipping event will close with a stunning performance from team Jump Rope UK, who have appeared on many television shows such as ‘Blue Peter’, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, and in music videos for artists such as James Morrison. In the week leading up to the event the professional jump rope team will be invited into Manx schools, and will also be performing in the Strand Shopping Centre and in the main shopping area in Douglas on Wednesday 15th June, at lunchtime.

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