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School girls skipping celebrating 40 years of Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

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Jump Rope for Heart

Group of school girls skipping

Jump Rope for Heart

The primary school skipping challenge that turns kids into Heart Heroes.

40 years, still skippin’: Eight reasons why Jump Rope for Heart is still an Australian icon

Media release: 21 November 2022

What do Cabbage Patch Kids, Walkmans and the Rubik’s Cube have in common? These fads were the ultimate in playground cool for kids growing up in Australia in the 1980s. While you’d be hard pressed to get your hands on some of these collectibles today, another Australian icon from 1983 has stood the test of time. This year, Jump Rope for Heart, the Heart Foundation’s famous primary school skipping challenge, turned 40! Whether you grew up with it yourself, or now have little ones of your own getting involved, it’s certainly stood the test of time.

Here’s eight reasons why Jump Rope for Heart is still going strong four decades later.

1. Gives kids the chance to be a Heart Hero

Jump Rope for Heart gets primary school-aged kids moving more and having fun, all while raising funds for life-saving heart research. Did you know, over the last 40 years, 10 million Aussie kids have skipped their way to over $111 million in donations? This outstanding achievement has helped fund amazing research. Like the work of Associate Professor Hayley Christian, who is exploring early childhood interventions to get kids moving, and newly-funded researcher Dr Brooklyn Fraser, who will study how childhood fitness can help prevent heart disease in adulthood. See, it’s no overstatement when we say kids taking part in Jump Rope for Heart are Heart Heroes. If helping save lives from heart disease isn’t heroic, we’re not sure what is!

2. Kick starts healthy habits from an early age

Did you know that active kids are more likely to grow up to be active adults? Getting kids excited about physical activity and feeling confident helps them form healthy habits early on. And parents have an important role to play as well. Research shows that parents can have a powerful positive influence on their kids’ physical activity, by acting as role models, getting active with their kids, encouraging participation, and helping kids get to sporting activities. Even more incentive for the whole family to get involved in Jump Rope for Heart.

3. Makes exercise friendly n’ fun

When researchers asked primary school-aged children about their views on physical activity, they discovered three key ingredients for enticing kids to be more physically active: it needs to be fun, social and outdoors. Well, Jump Rope for Heart ticks all three boxes, especially the fun part. For example, through their own secure online platform, kids can unlock 12 awesome badges to collect as they keep track of their skipping minutes. There’s also heaps of cool prizes they can earn when they hit a fundraising milestone, from a mystery skipping rope to a Vuly kids’ bike. If that’s not enough, kids participating in Jump Rope for Heart can put their own stamp on their skipping experience by choosing from one of two avatars.

4. Ropes in the heart health benefits

Question: how many health benefits does skipping have? Answer: how long is a piece of string? Or rope, for that matter.

Jumping rope can improve bone density, muscle strength, coordination, fitness levels and can help kids to maintain a healthy weight. Skipping can even help the brain’s ability to learn and retain information! Discover more benefits of physical activity and exercise here.

5. Puts a spring in their step

Physical activity is also great for mental health, which is good news as kids get back into the swing of things after the past few challenging years. Moving more has been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety, and boost mood. Getting regular exercise is also great for getting good sleep, which is important for learning and concentration at school.

6. Keeps the piggy bank intact

Cost of living is a big concern for a lot of people. We understand families are stretched, and at the Heart Foundation we’re all about savvy ways to stay heart-healthy on a budget (have you got your copy of our Family recipes on a budget eBook yet?). The beauty of Jump Rope for Heart is that skipping doesn’t cost the earth. No fancy equipment needed, just a trusty rope, which kids can use anywhere, anytime. Heart Foundation skipping ropes are available for order on our Online Shop and come in a range of colours and lengths.

7. Challenges kids to try some new tricks

Some kids might like to go solo when it comes to clocking up their skipping minutes and donations, while others might like to do it in teams. Either way, for an added challenge, there’s a whole list of special skipping tricks they can try, from basic to advanced. Why not encourage them to give the razzle dazzle, dipsy doodle or matador a go? Find these and more in our skipping activity guide, free when your child signs up to Jump Rope for Heart. You can also find some skipping trick videos on our Jump Rope for Heart YouTube Channel.

8. Creates the next heart-healthy generation

If you were lucky enough to participate in Jump Rope for Heart as a kid, you might now be nearing the age where you can do something else that’s good for your heart – get a Heart Health Check! A Heart Health Check is a 20-minute check up with your GP, subsidised by Medicare, to work out your risk of a heart attack or stroke. More importantly, your GP can support you to make changes to help lower your risk. People aged 45 years and over (or 30 years and over for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples) are eligible. What are you waiting for? Jump to it and book in with your GP today.

There’s been a lot of ups and downs (so to speak) over the last 40 years but Jump Rope for Heart is still going strong. By joining the thousands of other parents (and teachers) whose kids are taking on this iconic skipping challenge, you’re helping set your kids up for a heart-healthy life. Visit the Jump Rope for Heart website to register now.

Last updated21 November 2022