Local jump ropers return from world competition, hope to make sport Olympic event
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RIGBY – A local jump rope team never expected to reach the far corners of the world.
The Proform Airborne Jump rope team in Idaho Falls has been touring for the last 30 years and is becoming a recognized name in many countries.
The team recently returned from a competition at the Oslofjord Convention Center in Oslofjordveien, Melsomvik, Norway. There were only seven Proform jumpers in a team of 300 members who made up team U.S.A.
“We have a lot of interactive elements where we’re jumping with each other and we try to make as many unique tricks as we could that just made (us) stand out,” Jump Rope Champion Seth Ingram tells EastIdahoNews.com.
The team took home gold, silver and bronze medals from the world competition. Seth took home multiple gold medals and many members of the team qualified for an invitation to the Grand World Championships held during the final phases of the competition.
About 30 countries with 950 competitors were in attendance, according to Team Coach Monica Foster, and it’s leading to even bigger opportunities.
“They’re getting quite a few invitations to go and work with other teams from around the world,” Foster says. “Idaho is definitely one of those states that are getting recognized more so in other countries.”
Now the team is working with the International Olympic Committee to officially recognize jump rope as a legitimate Olympic event. The team is currently a member of the international jump rope Union. In order for competitive jump roping to be recognized as an Olympic event, other countries have to join the Union. The Proform Airborne jumpers are working to make that happen.
“In Europe it’s huge. There’s a lot of teams building in Europe (and) in China. In Asian countries, it’s actually integrated into their school systems … It’s much larger over there,” Foster says.
The team is looking forward to competitions and performances in Idaho, Utah, and Canada next season and they’ve also scheduled to train jumpers at workshops in Canada, Boise, and Montana.
“Jump rope is a very unique sport. It’s not like anything else. There’s lots of room for creativity and it’s always changing and developing,” Seth says. “It’s a really friendly sport. I think it’s cool to have friends from all around the world, and that’s why I keep doing it.”
And if you’re considering joining the team, you’re invited to check them out. Look for free after-school jump rope clinics this year at Ammon Elementary and Madison Middle School. The clinics begin late September on Mondays from 4 to 4:45 p.m.
“We’re always open to new team members. I’m always encouraging hard-working kids. You are welcome to come and try this out because it is a great sport. It’s a lot of fun,” Foster says. “You get a lot of opportunities to travel, but it’s hard work too … The pay off is more than you can get in anything else.”
Learn more about competitive jump rope here.