Otago Polytechnic
Jump Rope for Heart Pasco County Schools 12 Feb 2016 CC BY NC 3.0

Skipping a beat

Sport students have been helping the Heart Foundation.

Several years ago the Heart Foundation contacted Otago Polytechnic seeking support to deliver their programme Jump Rope for Heart in early childhood centres. The goal was to teach the fundamental motor skills for children to learn how to skip. The benefits include improved balance and coordination as well as fitness.

A team of students designed and developed a teaching resource which they then implemented in Dunedin kindergartens. In subsequent years, different groups of students have been involved in further development and delivery of the programme. Demand has grown but delivery has been limited by the number of students who want to pick up this project each year.

The Heart Foundation has decided now that it will no longer manage the programme, but has bequeathed the programme to our Institute of Sport and Adventure for another group of students to consider redeveloping it and continuing to make it available to benefit Dunedin preschoolers.