Hundreds take part in Sunderland Skipping School final

Pupils from schools across Sunderland taking part in the 4th annual Skipping Challange at City Space.
Pupils from schools across Sunderland taking part in the 4th annual Skipping Challange at City Space.
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ENERGETIC children skipped to it as a city-wide sport competition returned to Sunderland.

The annual Sunderland Skipping School final saw 300 youngsters take part at Sunderland University’s CitySpace campus, in Chester Road.

The event has been cemented as an important sport event on the Wearside schools calendar since first coming to the city in 2010.

Year Three and Four pupils from 10 schools made it to the final showdown, after being whittled down in preliminary heats which took place earlier this year.

Competitors skip in different rehearsed routines to pieces of music. And it was Southwick Community Primary School who emerged victorious, taking the gold medal award back to Shakespeare Street.

Pauline Walmsley, community manager at the school, said pupils are now “on cloud nine” following the win. “They’re absolutely buzzing,” said Ms Walmsley.

“It’s been a huge effort by the children and by Nicola Bilton, who’s been our skipping coach.

“They’ve spent loads of hours practising during lunchtimes and after school and now it’s paid off.

“The children have had a fantastic day and to win was just the icing on the cake.

“They’re on cloud nine right now.”

Skipping School director Chris Corcoran, says that while also getting youngsters fitter and healthier, skipping competitively to music also raises their self-esteem.

Chris, who hails from Leeds, said: “The skill level just builds year-on-year.

“Southwick just pipped the other schools to the title but they were all brilliant. It’s a fantastic achievement for all the schools to get to the final, as we had 35 of them at the start of the competition.

“With the dedication of the children and their teachers, we will continue to see this enhance itself to higher levels in future years.

“The creativity we see within the skip-dance routines consistently amazes us, as we only give the teachers and children a brief tuition session on how to put together a routine. Their imagination in developing their presentation and enjoyment whilst performing is a joy to watch.”

Chris, who set up the organisation 10 years ago, added that the event is set to return to Wearside in 2015.

“We’ve already had confirmation from the School Games Organiser team that we’ll be running the Skipping School in Sunderland in June or July next year,” he said.