Paka Skippers: a year of jump rope October 17, 2011  by      

Jump rope coach Innocent Nyangori reflects on CFK’s jump rope initiative after its first year:

Jump rope is one of Carolina for Kibera’s initiatives under the Sports Association that was started in the 2010. It began at the beginning of the March 2010 with help from a championship jumper from the United States, Mike Fry of One World One Rope.

From Kibera to Mombasa in Kenya

The initiative started with a total of nine young people comprised of eight girls and one boy. They started by training for three months in preparation for the first East Africa Jump Rope competition held in Mombasa in July 2010.

The team traveled together with their five trainers on a five-day competition held in Mombasa. Day one included an introduction of the participants from Tanzania, hosts from Mombasa, and trainers from South Africa and the United States. Competitions then started on the second day where jumpers from Kibera took first place in two events winning seven medals. They also won five medals in second and third place in other categories. The rest of the days, participating teams were engaged in workshops to learn more about jump rope skills.

From 9 jumpers to 180 committed members

After the Mombasa competition, the team came back highly motivated and with a lot of skills. They were ready to scout and recruit more members and had a meeting where they came up with the idea of using jump rope performances as a tool of mobilizing and sensitizing the community. After community performances, jumpers taught the audiences more about the goals of the game and informed them where the group could be found. Day after day, the number of participants kept growing, up to where it is today.

The jump rope sport is used in the following ways: providing entertainment for jumpers and the community at large, teaching life skills, building confidence, and developing teamwork. It provides healthy exercise and teaches leadership and responsibility. It has also led to increasing social ties and creating more opportunities for success. The growth of the team as lead to the creation of five mobile training sites, reaching youth in almost all villages in Kibera. Each site is spearheaded by trained female jumpers.

Trip to Paris, France

On November 16th, 2010, one of the trainers, Innocent Nyangori, was invited to attend the FFDD workshop in Paris for four days. This gave him an opportunity to learn a lot of skills, interact with new people, and make new friends from other countries. These friends shared their experiences about how they ran the game in their country. Many of the members were from Africa and they discussed ways of promoting the game and developing responsible leaders upon returning back to their respective countries. Innocent came back and implemented the ideas and skills learned in France and says that it helped develop the initiative a lot.

Trip to United States

Read more about the 2 members of the program’s trip to the US in previous blog posts here, here, and here.

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