Did you know that the CFK Sprinters also hold competitions amongst themselves from time to time? Held a couple of times a year, these in-house tournaments give jumpers a chance to engage in friendly competition with their peers. Most importantly, the in-house competitions test, monitor, and grade the jumpers, and help seasoned athletes as well as rookies understand the rules and regulations of the jump rope sport.
The Sprinters’ most recent in-house competition, held on 1 May, brought together over 65 jumpers from the team. We had a massive turn-out from the community, with residents crowding around to watch the live performance. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, since it was the last day before school started up again after a long vacation. This made it even sweeter for athletes who attend boarding school; the rest of the team bid them a nice farewell until the next school holiday in August.
Like all tournaments, the in-house competition seeks to give jumpers a chance to compete and challenge their peers to work hard and improve. As such, we had several awards there up for grabs by the best performers. The awards were encouraging and motivating as every participant tried their best to walk away with a medal.
However, the tournament also featured an educational component. Many members of the Kibera community do not know the rules of jump rope (and some do not believe it is a real sport), or how the power of sport can be harnessed to teach kids about confidence, healthy habits in their daily lives, and friendship and teamwork. Children who were there got a chance to dance alongside the jumpers and, if they were old enough, to practice their moves with a rope. By encouraging children from the community to try out jump rope through competitions like these, Carolina for Kibera can reach more at-risk youth in the community.
Remember our update last month when we mentioned that Carolina for Kibera's jump rope team, The CFK Sprinters, made national news not once, but twice? We wanted to share part 2 of that series with you. (If you missed the first clip, you can find it here.)
In the second of the two features, Voice of America gives a glimpse into how star jumper, Wycliffe Otieno, began jumping. "After class, I'd find people practicing jump rope and my interest was piqued," he says. "I saw an opportunity to learn and improve my skills and I decided to take it up seriously."
Another jumper, Christine Ondeko (who was among the first to join the Sprinters), mentions how jump rope inspires her to develop her skills and dedicate her time to something constructive. Coach David Okoth is also interviewed, saying that in addition to coaching the team in the actual sport, they spend time participating in workshops to learn about important life skills and health topics.
Watch the clip here for some great shots of practice, as well as each interview in full. Congratulations on your moments in the spotlight, CFK Sprinters!
It's not every day you make Kenya National News! The CFK Sprinters were recently featured not once but twice in short news clips on some of Kenya's most popular TV broadcast networks. In this first clip, Coach Innocent Philip reflects on how CFK's jump rope program began (with help from Michael Fry of One World One Rope), why he decided to become a coach, and why jump rope is an important activity for Kiberan youth.
The CFK Sprinters had a whirlwind year -- from exceling at the East Africa Jump Rope Competition and Camp to being featured by the Los Angeles Times in advance of the World Jump Rope Competition, and now being profiled on some of Kenya's most widely watched networks. It's an exciting time for jump rope in Kibera, and the CFK Sprinters will keep performing and spreading the sport of jump rope nationwide.
Click here to watch the clip! And stay tuned for Part 2.
CFK’s jump rope team, The CFK Sprinters, will represent CFK and the country of Kenya in this year's World Jump Rope Competition, hosted by CFK partner organization One World One Rope, which will be hosted in Orlando, Florida, from June 30 to July 10, 2014. The team had an intense recruitment process, through which the best of the best were selected.
After months of intense weekly training sessions, the selection of individual jumpers was based on performance, commitment, dedication to jump rope, and discipline within the team. It took quite some time for the coaches to select individuals to go on the trip, since all performed well.
After deciding who would go, the next step in the process was to secure their traveling documents and visas. While it’s a hectic task, through a good relationship between Carolina for Kibera, One World One Rope, and the US embassy, the team was able to secure their visas after an arduous interview process.
Two girls and two boys will be making the trip, along with one coach and a female teacher representative from one of the jumpers’ schools, as is required by the Kenya Ministry of Education. Wish them luck—we’ll be rooting for them!
It’s official—the Jump Rope Association of Kenya has been registered with the Kenyan government and now the work to build a national network of jump ropers has begun! In typical registration fashion, the registration took several months to process. When CFK got the call that the association had been registered, Program Officer Abdul Hussein and Jump Rope Instructor David Okoth immediately went to the city center of Nairobi to proudly collect the certificate.
With the association now official, the CFK Sports Association is thinking through the next steps of building the network and developing jump rope as an income-generating activity for youth. Because the CFK Sprinters (the name of the CFK jump rope team that performs) have been requested for many events due to the enthusiasm audiences have for the jumpers’ talents, the association will support the team as they expand to new audiences while also making money to support their educations and the jump rope program. The registration of the Jump Rope Association of Kenya is a big step in making jump rope the next big sport for all of Kenya! CFK is proud to be part of the movement and looking forward to seeing how the program expands.
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