I have to admit that I had my doubts that they'd be able to pull it off, but when I got the text late on Monday that CFK’s jump rope team, the CFK Sprinters, had been approved for visas and would be heading to the U.S., I was amazed and excited. Even though this trip was, in fact, a year in the making, it all ended up coming together in a span of 48 hours. Before we get into that, though, let's back up a bit.
Every year, the World Jump Rope Championship & Camp is held. This year, the competition was hosted at the University of Central Florida in Orlando where jumpers from all over the world competed in individual and team competitions. This year, participating countries included France, the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Japan, Brazil, and the U.K. In 2012, several CFK participants in the jump rope program were organizing to go to compete in this event (a trip supported by CFK partner One World One Rope); however, complications arose with paper work, visas, working with two governments with different requirements, traveling with minors—all legitimate issues that required sorting out. Due to all the difficulties, the team wasn't able to make it. This year the team started earlier, in March, to get the necessary paperwork, Kenyan government approvals, and of course visas to travel to the U.S. Though it was hectic, the team got all the necessary documentation and left for the U.S. on July 2.
At the airport, we took pictures and shared high-fives, laughs, tears, and hugs as jumpers Ida, Cathrine Agnes, Diana, and Jackline began their journey to the World Championship Tournament. They were joined by David, their coach, and Margaret, the Deputy Head Mistress of the Old Kibera Primary School.
For more information and to see the results of the competition, check out worldjumprope.org!