Ottawa

Top rope skippers seek Canadian title

Hundreds of athletes are in Ottawa this weekend, jumping at the chance to be crowned Canada's best rope skippers.

Hundreds of athletes are in Ottawa this weekend, jumping at the chance to be crowned Canada's best rope skippers.

Teams from across the country showed off the synchronized spring in their steps amid a dizzying blur of ropes at Carleton University on Friday and Saturday.

The winners of the Canadian Rope Skipping Championships, which wrap up Sunday, will go on to represent their country at the 2010 World Rope Skipping Championships in Loughborough, England, this summer.

Lisa Muldoon of Hamilton said the annual championship is a great way to promote the sport as more than just a schoolyard game.

"These are real athletes and they can show their stuff," she said.

Vicki Van Gent, a member of the Essex Energizers, said inserting dance moves and gymnastics into a co-ordinated skipping routine is harder than it looks.

Dedication needed

"A lot of people think it's a girl's sport and that it's really easy — double dutch on the playground, like when you were a kid — but it takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication to do something like we just did."

Her team has been working on its complex steps and high kicks since last July.

Kassandra Armstrong, whose team is called the Jumping Jacks, said the Energizers aren't alone.

"Everybody here is probably practising at least six hours a week and trains like crazy for this competition."

This is the first time the national championships have been held in Ottawa.