With face to face inter-school competitions and events still unable to take place at the moment, we along with other School Games Organisers across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough came up with the idea of a ‘Skipping Week’ to take place in primary schools across the county during the week of 19th-23rd March. This followed the successful ‘Healthy Selfie’ and ‘Spring into Action’ campaigns that have already taken place this year.
We know that Covid-19 has had an impact on children’s activity levels resulting in a decline in both their physical and mental wellbeing. With that in mind, the purpose of the week was to provide a new and positive experience and to get as many children as possible active throughout the week, having fun and boosting confidence at the same time.
Skipping is a simple but fun activity which really gets your heart beating and can be great for general fitness and wellbeing. It is also something that doesn’t require much equipment or space and is therefore accessible to all and can be done within COVID guidelines.
The Skipping Week involved children challenging themselves by taking on different skipping activities and skills challenges to try and complete either a bronze, silver or gold level award with the focus all on self-belief, determination and fun!
The week also coincided with National Skipping Day (Friday 23rd April) where schools in the South Cambs School Sport Partnership were challenged to see how many children and staff they could get skipping on one day in an attempt to set a record which we will then look to beat year on year. The numbers for this are still coming in but we have already had over 3700 children plus 165 staff from 21 schools recorded as skipping on the day which is fantastic, and we hope to hit at least 4000 when all of the numbers are in.
In order to add some extra excitement to the week and to help inspire the children five local schools (Petersfield, The Meadow, Melbourn, Thriplow & Coton) were honoured to have a visit from SkipBeatz and 5x world record holder Pete Thompson who delivered a whole school assembly where he gave a demo of his world records and talked about how he got into skipping and the impact it has had on his fitness and mental health before leading workshops with every class in each school. Teaching over 1000 children to skip during the week! Coton Primary School were one of the Schools Pete visited, one of the staff commented afterwards “All the children had a wonderful time and are inspired to improve their personal bests. It was lovely to hear their positive comments. They loved the skipping ninja!”
We are hoping that the interest generated by the week will encourage skipping in schools as a regular activity during lunchtimes and as movement breaks to try and help as many children as possible achieve the Chief Medical officer’s target of 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Some of the feedback from schools who took part in the week shows this may well be the case for their pupils: “It has proved so popular this week that we will discussing doing it as an ongoing regular activity break” Histon & Impington Junior School, “The children really enjoyed the skipping week and many of them were asking to use the ropes both at break and lunchtimes which is great.” University of Cambridge Primary.