Author: Angela Norval, Bundaberg Central
On launch day, over 100 students registered for this year’s Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser at St Luke’s Anglican School.
Now in their fifth consecutive year of running the JRFH program in the primary school, St Luke’s has stood out for not only its student and teach involvement but remarkable fundraising.
This year, the school’s fundraising goal is $20,000 and over the last four years they have raised very close to or above this total, meaning that in 2023 they will be very close to having raised $100,000 for vital heart research.
JRFH coordinator and year 4 teacher Mrs Hayley Russo said the St Luke’s community was incredibly generous when it came to this program, and once the students start to enjoy the skipping component at school the program really takes off.
“There are some key benefits to running this program every year including keeping out students’ hearts healthy, engaging our students in physical activity that is fun, decreasing playground/behaviour problems across term 3 as our students are busy learning new skipping skills and it gives an opportunity for our whole school to interact with one another – Prep to Year 6 are involved and the older students will really step up to help the younger students,” Mrs Russo said.
“The benefits of this program are continuing to be realised within our primary school based on our vision of a little lunch time activity to engage our students in something that was fun and good for them, is now an incredible opportunity for our students to be able to compete at both a State, and National level in skipping competitions.”
For student Chloe Bramley, her desire to be a part of the program is simple – she just loves skipping.It definitely isn’t about the prizes for Chloe, but more about enjoying skipping with her friends and practicing new tricks.
The Jump Rope for Heart program holds special memories too for Chloe’s parents Paul and Alex Bramley from Hinkler Podiatry, as Alex participated in the program when she was in primary school and was proud to raise money for the Heart Foundation. Alex’s grandfather had heart disease and understood the benefit of prevention. He was delighted that the program was educating children as well as teaching an active skill. Alex said she continued to appreciate the benefits of the program as her own father had heart disease as well.
“As a health professional, I am encouraged by the Jump Rope program, as skipping provides cardiorespiratory fitness, endurance and strength, three recognised components of physical fitness,” she said.
“Congratulations to all the team at St Luke’s who makes this program enjoyable for all the students.”
Jump Rope for Heart is also a family affair for Ollie and Isa Burgess and their mum Georgia Noakes. Just like Chloe Isa really likes skipping at home and at school, being able to skip with her friends but also seeing her teachers skipping all together. For Ollie he loves seeing everyone come together to help people who might be very sick from heart sickness.
“Mostly it’s a lot of fun with my friends and learning new tricks each year,” he said.
Georgia said it would be their fourth year of the Jump Rope for Heart program with St Luke’s since her oldest started prep in 2020.
“I love the energy surrounding the program and the fact the entire school gets involved in activities throughout the term,” she said.
“For our family, it’s been a joy to watch the kids skip every waking moment of term 3 and try to master new tricks all the while dodging the dogs efforts to “catch” the skipping ropes with his teeth in the backyard, it is truly an all-encompassing family activity."
“It’s healthy, fun and improves their fitness – winning."
“The Luke Boon visit is always a hit and in 2022 both kids were fortunate to participate in the two-day skipping incursion with Luke Boon and his teammates and watching the skill progression over those two days was amazing.
“We eagerly await Term 3 and the Jump Rope for Heart program each year.”
For Quinn Walters, he loves Jump Rope for Heart because it’s lots of fun with all his mates and he enjoys learning the tricks. For his parents Slade and Aletha Walters from Stroud Homes, they love to sponsor jump rope for heart each year because it is a cause close to their heart with heart health issues throughout the family.
“It is such an important initiative for our community, not to mention the nostalgia of our own jump rope for heart endeavours at Cordalba State School and Childers State schools in the 80s,” Slade said.
“We love seeing St Luke’s getting involved.”