"Heart Beat" makes skipping as a fitness activity

By Susanne Heppner
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

"Skipping would be a high-level concentration sport because you always have to be thinking of what you want to do next, where your rope is and your jumping in. There's a lot of coordination involved, and skill, and stamina."

Richard Krahn knows what he's talking about when he makes that sort of statement. He has been involved with skipping since 1982, and he has worked with a lot of different skippers.

Krahn says skipping "is a great cardiovascular fitness activity." He notes that it builds strong hearts, strong lungs, stamina, coordination and a variety of things." That is why when different
professional athletes, like boxers and football players, are conditioning, they often skip. It prepares them for other physical activity.


Krahn and a teacher at Parkland will be the coaches of the Year 2000 skipping team at Parkland Elementary School. The skipping team usually has from six to eight students, who range from grade four to grade eight. They will begin practicing and performing around the beginning
of January. The skipping team is called "Heart Beat."

This team works hard at their different routines and skipping. They perform at different schools throughout Manitoba. They also skip at the Southland mall during Celebrate Education Week and do performances at other community activities. Previous teams have also skipped at Hutterite colonies, the 55 Plus Games, and at half-time at basketball games at GVC.

There is competitive skipping, but the skipping team at Parkland does not participate in that. They skip totally for fun and everyone is a winner. When the coaches look for hopeful members for the skipping team, they look for good skippers. Good skippers have the ability to work hard. Theyalso have a good attitude, are coachable, put in a good effort, and are willing to learn new things.

The skipping team members are chosen from a skipping club that runs two lunch hours every week from January to the beginning of March. The students learn how to skip in double dutch, chinese, and single rope. They also learn different tricks.

Krahn says he has participated in coaching this sort of thing because he enjoys working with the students. Their motivation encourages him. He also said he does it because it's fun.