The Alberta Provincial Rope Skipping Championships took place at the Grimshaw Multiplex on April 6 and 7.
As the Grimshaw Alleycatz Club is marking its 30th anniversary, to help celebrate the milestone, the club was selected to host this year’s provincial championships.
Skipping is a universal pastime that has endured through millennia. Children, primarily young girls most commonly practice the sport but skipping is also an excellent form of exercise for both boys and girls, young and not so young.
For instance, rope skipping is a mainstay of a professional boxer’s workout routine, so it is obviously a great means of maintaining agility and stamina.
Unlike fads that come and go such as the hula-hoop or more recently the fidget spinner, the skipping rope has survived, as not only a pastime for kids but it has evolved into a legitimate, competitive team sport and here in Canada, the clubs compete on the local, provincial and national level.
In this province, the Rope Skipping Alberta Association oversees the sport, coordinating provincial jump rope competitions and offering workshops to encourage the expansion of the sport by mentoring new clubs.
At the 2019 Alberta Provincial Rope Skipping Championships, ten Alberta clubs comprised of 120 participants took part in competition, including teams from Calgary, Camrose, Bonnyville and Leduc.
Because there are so many different events in which one can qualify, of those 120 participants at the provincials, approximately 100 competitors including 13 members of the Grimshaw Alleycatz will go on to the Nationals, which is in Olds Alberta from May 17 to the 21.
The Alleycatz Club was established in 1989, the same year as the Rope Skipping Alberta Association, making the Alleycatz one of the longest running clubs in the province.
The club accepts both competitive and recreational members.
“We start up in October and we are accepting new members if people are interested,” Says Alleycatz Club founding member and board member Diane Wearden. “And this year, all of our competitive skippers are going on to the nationals, so we are really proud of that.”