Skippers leap into action at Brock

By Jeff Bolichowski, The Standard
Monday, May 20, 2013 1:01:49 EDT PM

The friendships were as fun as leaping through the air for Megan Green.

The 15-year-old Lincoln Leapers skipper joined her team over the weekend at the National Skipping Championships at Brock University. The Leapers set several personal bests, but for Green, half the fun was going up against skipping squads from coast to coast and beyond.

"It's cool to see all the skippers you just don't get to see within your province and within your region," she said. Beyond the local team, skippers converged on the tournament from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. A team from Denver was also represented.

"It's so cool that people can come and just make up whatever they want," Green said. "There's new tricks every year and it gets harder every year."

Tournament director Brad Ciancio said the event drew more than 20 teams, eight from Ontario. They added up to 265 skippers ranging from age 7 to age 56, though most were 10 to 15 years old.

"It doesn't matter how old — not at all," he said.

"The friendships that are formed in this sport are amazing. This is a sport where teams help other teams.

"As soon as they're done competition, they're all friends after."

Ciancio said it takes a lot to be a talented skipper. Most of the teams, he said, practice three to four times a week in two-hour sessions.

He said it takes a lot of strengthening and conditioning - and it's a great cardio workout, too.

"You have to have control of your body," he said.

Leapers coach Brittany Haiding said the team got its routines down pat by practicing over and over and counting each skipping pattern out. She said they skip to music so they can keep to a beat.

"They've had a really good weekend so far," she said of the team Sunday.