Rope jumpers hit All Star camp in stride

Penticton hosted the B.C. All Star and Leadership camp with 40 members from Penticton, Abbotsford, Nelson and Victoria.

BLACK WIDOW ROPE Spinners Izzy Landry

BLACK WIDOW ROPE Spinners Izzy Landry

The top rope jumpers in B.C. gathered at Columbia Elementary School Sept. 23 to 25.

They were in Penticton for the B.C. All Start and Leadership camp and represented the local Black Widow Rope Spinners, as well as Abbotsford, Nelson and Victoria.

“It was excellent,” said Black Widow Rope Spinner coach Cathy Cunningham, who is also on the All Star Selection committee that organized the camp. “We came up with a number of routines. The skill level was high.”

The event was to review the current B.C. All-Start team and assess new jumpers to be selected. Cunningham said it was mandatory for hopefuls to attend. There is a number of criteria the jumpers needed to perform to earn selection, which will be announced in two weeks. Cunningham said the event also gave the rope jumpers a chance to bond.

“They worked together,” she said. “It’s a different environment from competing against each other. They helped each other and encouraged each other in the routines.”

She was impressed with how the jumpers interacted.

The All Stars is made up of jumpers aged 15 and older who have competed in high-level events and have the skill to perform routines and create shows.

“A highlight of the camp was a light up rope showdown at Okanagan Lake,” said Cunningham, adding that passers by watched and used their iPads to record it. “The jumpers performed many skills and routines, and even had some volunteers jump into the ropes.”

It was the first time Penticton hosted the camp and it can return according to Cunningham.

The Black Widow Rope Spinners have three all-stars in Thomas Cunningham, Izzy Landry and Mickella Biggs, and had two try out this season, while a group of six attended as leadership jumpers.

Cunningham said the sport is growing and Penticton has 20 jumpers, putting them at their max.

“We’ve grown and our skill level has grown,” said Cunningham, adding they have six jumpers who are aged 10 and younger. “You can continue in the sport as long as you want.”

Their season started this month and ends in June. They will attend four events including a speed and power competition in Abbotsford in November, as well as a provincial competition there.

Those who perform well and finish in the top eight qualify for nationals in Kingston, Ont. There are some members who earned their way to compete in the World Jump Rope in Orlando, Fla., in July.