Jump Rope For Heart is a free physical activity programme run by the Heart Foundation, designed to help school children learn about the importance of physical activity.
It also raises funds for the Heart Foundation’s work.
The fundraising programme is marking its 30th birthday this year and the Heart Foundation is encouraging all schools to get involved and celebrate the occasion.
The official birthday month for Jump Rope For Heart is September. To encourage schools to take part in ‘Skipping September’, the Heart Foundation is aiming to send staff out to join as many schools as possible during that month.
“It will be a bit like synchronised skipping as schools across the country find themselves skipping simultaneously throughout September, along with Heart Foundation staff,” the Heart Foundation’s Shabana Stuart says.
She says the Heart Foundation would love to see schools invite members of their local community (and any local celebrities) to join in on the Skip-a-thon day by turning a rope or even trying some skipping.
To mark Jump Rope for Heart’s 30th birthday, the Heart Foundation is offering a 50 per cent rebate of total funds raised to all schools that sign up in 2015. That means schools can choose to receive a rebate of half the money they raise.
“It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all the schools who have supported Jump Rope For Heart and the Heart Foundation for 30 years, and helped millions of Kiwi children to stay active and healthy,” Ms Stuart says.
“Jump Rope is all about teaching Kiwi kids to look after their hearts by learning a variety of skipping skills, while having heaps of fun with their school friends.
“Getting children moving from an early age is so important because it sets them up for a lifetime of good heart health.”
Jump Rope For Heart has helped over 2.4 million Kiwi children learn to skip since 1985. It also helps them learn about leadership, communication, teamwork, balance and rhythm.
The programme also teaches children about heart disease and what the Heart Foundation is doing as a charity to address its prevalence in New Zealand.
“Almost 65,000 children took part in Jump Rope For Heart last year, raising a massive $140,000 to support the Heart Foundation. Through their fundraising, we’re able to put money back into the programme and continue reaching Kiwi kids with our heart-healthy messages,” Ms Stuart says.
“This is an iconic programme that brings back fond memories for many; let’s keep those memories going for the next generation,” Ms Stuart says.
There is still plenty of time to register for Jump Rope For Heart – simply sign up online at www.heartfoundation.org.nz/jrfhschools for details.