The Jumps Heard 'Round the World

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Ready, set ... jump!

    That rumble under your feet Monday morning wasn't an earthquake, it was the feeling of thousands of Bay Area students jumping at the chance to be part of a world record.

    More than 85 Bay Area schools signed up to participate in a statewide effort to break a jump-roping world record. More than 88,000 Californians were planning to jump rope between 9 a.m. and 9:10 a.m., in an attempt to break the "most people jumping rope at one time" record.

    The event, hosted by the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, is meant to remind participants that jumping rope is a fun and inexpensive way to fight childhood obesity.

    Schools in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Solano, San Mateo, Marin, Napa and Monterey counties registered to try to help break the record, now held by Australia, which had 59,000 people jumping at once.

    Maureen Hayes, a gym teacher and jump site coordinator at  Roosevelt Middle School in San Francisco, said about 720 students, staff and faculty at the school will be jumping Monday, the first day of heart health month.

    She said not only was it an exciting opportunity for the kids to  break a world record, they've been raising money for the American Heart Association for the past month.

    "Every student had to raise $1 to be counted for the record," she said. "They're also raising money above that." The money will be used to pay for pediatric heart surgery, medication and research, she said.

    But this isn't just any playground jump rope gathering. There are some pretty detailed rules that have to be stuck to in order to bury the Down Under record.

    To break the record, 80,000 people must jump for at least three minutes straight. Each jump site needs at least two independent judges, and videos and photos of the participants must be provided to the world record committee. Strict record-keeping logs must also be submitted.

    The California Association for Health, Physical Education,  Recreation and Dance chose the goal of 80,000 participants because this year is the association's 80th anniversary.

    The organization is also coordinating with a California-based military unit in Iraq and California Congressional offices in Washington, D.C., to get global participation in the record-breaking effort.

    Bay City News