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Local students join in on jump rope record attempt
The participating California schools hope to beat Australia’s current record of 59,000 people jumping rope at the same time. - photo by ANDREA GOODWIN / The Journal
Walnut Elementary School students attempted to jump their way into the Guinness World Record Book on Monday. The school was part of a state-wide attempt to beat the current world record for the most people jumping and skipping rope at the same time.
731 people jumped rope in unison for 10 minutes at Walnut. They were joined by school children and teachers across the state via live streaming video. The record attempt was organized by the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. The group hoped to organize 80,000 people, enough to “jump over the record from Down Under,” and break Australia’s current record of 59,000 people.
Students had to jump for 10 minutes straight, without stopping for more than 10 seconds at a time. Modifications were made for younger children, and those who were not physically able to jump rope for a full 10 minutes. Kindergartners, for example, were allowed to lay their rope on the ground and jump back and forth over it for the 10 minute challenge.
Students jumped to music, including “JUMP” by Van Halen. Each student was required to have his or her own jump rope, and group jumps or double dutch did not count.
Walnut became involved with the record attempt when Erin Hall, a parent of a Walnut first grader and a member of CAHPERD, contacted Vice Principal Robin Swartz.
“We normally do Jump Rope for Heart events, so we thought it would be great to combine the two events this year,” Swartz said.
Students started jumping at exactly 9 a.m. for the record attempt. Once their 10 minutes were up they took a quick break. Then it was back to the ropes, where they jumped for a few more minutes for Jump Rope For Heart. Students were kept motivated during both jumping sessions by the California State University, Stanislaus softball and baseball teams.
“They were happy to help. They had a lot of fun,” said softball coach Jan Schefkowitz.
Softball and baseball team members also acted as independent judges for the event, and they verified that each student was present and participated according to the Guinness rules. Two independent witnesses, including a Journal staff reporter, also verified the attempt in a letter to Guinness. Participants’ names and record attempt data will be collected and verified by the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Governor’s Challenge program and Jump Rope for Heart.
Walnut Elementary School Principal Mark Holmes said that the record attempt was a great way to promote physical fitness to students. Jump Rope For Heart is a program run by the American Heart Association, so students also learned how fitness contributes to heart health, and overall health. Most of all, however, it was a fun event that students, teachers, and parents all took part in together.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.