For anyone who starts a club on campus, the goal is to raise interest, see growth in numbers and perhaps receive recognition by other clubs for the work they have done. Since founding the Carolina Jump Rope Club in 2017, Graham Booth and Noah Mancuso have done just this.
“We’re a group of 11 or 12 experienced jump ropers, experienced meaning we were on a competitive team before we came to college,” Booth said. “A lot of us have been doing it for 10 or so years, and we wanted to continue that because it’s not a common thing for jump ropers to continue jumping in college.”
The club has been able to build that core of skilled jump ropers in such a short time period because North Carolina is a hot spot when it comes to jump rope teams.
“The Triangle is a pretty big hub for the sport of jump rope with three of four large teams in the area,” Mancuso said. “This means that there were already experienced jumpers on campus when we started and that each year the first-year class brings in a few more.”
Alex Davis-Isaac was one of those experienced jumpers who was excited to get a chance to continue the sport in college.
“I competed for nine years, and I’ve been jumping since fourth grade so it’s something that is really important to me,” she said. “Graham was someone I jumped with throughout high school, and he came to me and said he was interested in starting a jump rope club on campus and I was really excited about the idea and wanted to be a part of it.”
In order to recruit inexperienced members, the club is very active on campus, Booth said. They hold open gym sessions where they teach the basics to students who are interested in learning how to jump rope and perform routines at events across campus and the community.
Off-campus members go to compete in competitions ranging from regional level all the way up to national and world competitions. Competitions usually consist of two parts, including a speed section where jumpers perform as many jumps as possible in an allotted time frame and a freestyle routine during which jumpers perform tricks for judges, Booth said.
“We competed in several events at the National Collegiate Jump Rope Championship and we won most of them which is really exciting,” Booth said. “We also competed in previous years at the world championships where we placed in the top three on the grand world stage, which is basically the top jumpers in each event.”
The National Collegiate Jump Rope Championship was held as part of the University Jump Rope Summit on Ohio State University's campus. Next year the Summit will be held at UNC, marking the first time it will move away from Ohio. After submitting an informal bid based on the availability of facilities and local jump rope teams, Carolina Jump Rope Club was selected as hosts, Mancuso said.
“The University Jump Rope Summit is an attempt to bring all the current collegiate jump rope programs and jumpers who are interested in starting programs at their college together for a weekend of discussions, practice, and ‘friendly’ competition,” he said.
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