Give 'em enough rope, they'll skip

Give 'em enough rope, they'll skip

A local team helped to set a Guinness World Record as the highlight of an event that showed off the fun side of a useful but often-overlooked activity

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Acrobatics can be a large part of pro rope skipping.
Acrobatics can be a large part of pro rope skipping.
Photos: Ngong Ping 360
Talk about jumping for joy! Imagine what it would take for 46 people to skip two twirling ropes at the same time - and do it at least five times to set a world record.

That was the mission on April 14 at Ngong Ping Village, and four Young Post junior reporters were there to witness it. The actual name of the Guinness World Record is "Most People Skipping Double-Dutch Style".

The previous record was 44 people, set by Zhejiang Anji Fenghuang Mountain Primary School and the Shanghai University of Sport Yuedong Rope Skipping Team - in August 2011. The attempt to break the record was part of the "360 Jump Rope Spectacular" event, which urged people to take up skipping to get fit.

Skipping rope for health

The US rope-skipping team Saltare Crew and the Hong Kong rope-skipping team DCOC kicked off the event with a crossover performance. The two teams fused skipping with dance, music, martial arts and even figure skating techniques. They performed such acrobatics as handstands, backflips, push-ups, and leapfrogs, all while skipping!


100 local students skipping to support Make-A-Wish Hong Kong.

Afterwards, 100 local students skipped rope together for Make-A-Wish Hong Kong. The youngest jumper was just eight, proving that you're never too young to get fit.

The highlight of the day was the attempt to break the record. A total of 46 local skippers to skip together at least five times. After failing a few times while practising, the audience's cheers helped the athletes succeed on their first real attempt.

Jocelyn Chan and William Cheng


Speaking up for skipping

We spoke to a crew member of the US rope-skipping group Saltare after their amazing performance with the Hong Kong athletes.

"We included elements of martial arts [from Hong Kong] and hip hop [from the US] in our performance here," Samantha Lange said.

Not all members skipped. Saltare's Lee Reisig said their members have different skills, such as dance and gymnastics. That helps the group create its unique choreography. They also noticed that ropes are shorter in Hong Kong than in the US. That suits local athletes because they strive for speed.

Reisig was impressed at how well local skippers worked together, adding "Hong Kong also has many resources, like coaches who teach students fundamental skills."

Kelvin Man, chairman of the executive committee of Hong Kong Rope Skipping Association China, agreed with Reisig. "The breaking of the Guinness World Record shows the capability of rope-skippers in Hong Kong," he said.


Local skippers broke a Guinness World Record.

Double Dutch Style is one of the five official types of rope skipping. It's a flexible type that allows skippers to bring in different dance moves to create their own styles.

Man urges local athletes to watch more rope-skipping videos from overseas to enrich their techniques.

"Japan's rope skippers are famous for hip hop dancing, teams from America and Belgium are great at gymnastics, and Hong Kong teams are known for their creativity," he said.


Junior reporters interview Lisa Cheng. Photo: John Kang

Rope skipping can be used to train for other sports. Lisa Cheng, who won last year's Bun Tower competition at the Cheung Chau Bun Festival, said: "Rope jumping helped boost my explosive strength."

Dr Chris KY Wong, president of the Hong Kong College of Cardiology, says: "Skipping is simple, doesn't require a lot of space and can be performed individually or in a group."

Elise Choi and Harry Cheng

Young Post organises regular activities for our junior reporters. If you wish to join, send your name, age, school and contact details to reporters.club@scmp.com with "jun rep application" in the subject field.

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