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Island's youth skipping towards healthy futures

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Department of Health will hold its sixth Annual Celebration of Skipping Event on 22 June 2012 at the National Sports Centre (NSC), Douglas, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The Celebration is organised by Department of Health’s Public Health Directorate, and will be supported by Britannia International for the second year running. The public are warmly encouraged to come and watch what promises to be an awe-inspiring event.

This year the Celebration will feature 11 ‘freestyle’ rope-skipping performances from primary schools across the Island, which have taken up the challenge to devise their own creative skipping routine to a short piece of music. The event has grown bigger every year since its inception. Starting out in 2007 with a few teams in a school hall, the event has now grown to fill the main sports hall at the NSC, where it was held successfully last year for the first time.

Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said:

'I think it is fantastic that this event continues to develop and grow. This proactive approach to encourage young people to exercise, even in small doses, is most welcomed. As part of the Isle of Man Government’s Physical Activity Strategy, it is pivotal that we promote healthy living, as our focus shifts to emphasise prevention over cure. I am delighted to see that Britannia International has taken a keen interest in this initiative, now in its sixth year and I feel that this event can only get bigger. I would like to thank Britannia International for their continued support.'

Britannia International has supported this year’s event by funding the UK’s skipping team, Jump Rope UK, to visit schools that are performing at the event. They will also be on hand on the day, to give valuable support, advice and inspiration. New for this year’s event, is an afternoon workshop also at the NSC. Pupils from a selection of the Island’s primary schools, together with the Jump Rope UK coaches leading the choreography, will work together on one large group rope skipping routine. The public are invited to watch the culmination of the advanced rope skipping workshop with the pupils and Jump Rope UK performing this spectacular routine, between 3:00pm and 3:30pm.

Sarah Jarvis, Marketing Developer, Britannia International commented:

'Britannia International is committed to promoting community events here on the Island, so we are delighted to support the Celebration of Skipping event for 2012. Growing year by year, it is a fabulous event for all who participate and is the climax of many months of hard work by the children and their teachers as they develop their routines. The inspiration and showmanship of the Jump Rope UK team will be something to see – I cannot wait! Good luck to everyone who is taking part this year.'

The Public Health Directorate, with help from The Children’s Centre Healthier Outcomes Worker, Danielle Mottram, support skipping in schools as a way of encouraging pupils to be more physically active in a fun, non-competitive environment. Rope skipping can increase levels of fitness, improve muscle strength, coordination and balance, and build up bone strength. It is also a fantastic activity as it can take place in the playground or in lessons, on your own, with a friend or with a very large group. All primary school aged children should aim to be physically active for at least 60 minutes every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

During the event, prizes for the top achievement in each of the Manx Skipping Challenge categories will be awarded, and the Isle of Man Anti Cancer Shield will be presented to the school with the best overall skipping achievements throughout the year.

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