Competitive jump ropers often get the same blank stare when trying to explain the sport they love. But when people see the sport in action for the first time, they come to understand the athleticism, rhythm and creativity of these jumpers.
On Saturday Nov. 4 the Bouncing Bulldogs, a community jump rope team, will host the 28th Annual North Carolina Rope Skipping Workshop at East Chapel Hill High School to spread awareness about competitive jump-roping. This event offers instruction for anyone interested in jumping rope, regardless of experience. Participants will learn from accomplished staff members from Japan, France, Germany and United States.
Founder Ray N. Fredrick, Jr. has been the director of the Bouncing Bulldogs for 31 years. He attributes the continued success of the workshop to the jumpers and parents who have supported it. Although the structure of the workshop has generally stayed the same, the purpose has evolved.
“In the beginning, we were just happy to be in a gym with coaches and jumpers from other teams,” Fredrick said. “As the workshop has grown over the three decades, we have moved from fun and fitness to trying to bring in the best jumpers in the world. But in the last three years, our focus has shifted again. Now, we still want to bring in high-level teachers, but we want to bring in boys and girls who do not have the resources to attend a workshop.”
This year, the team has chosen to expand its focus to community outreach. Bouncing Bulldogs team members have been asked to find individuals in the community to sponsor 100 children for this event. The sponsored kids will be provided transportation to and from the event, three meals, a rope, a day of instruction, a workshop t-shirt and admission to the International Jump Rope Spectacular.