Acro Ropers Jumping For Joy

The Brampton Guardian – Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Staff Writer

If you attended the Ontario Provincial Jump Rope Championships recently at Mayfield Secondary School you couldn’t help but be impressed. More than 150 athletes from 11 different clubs, between the ages of six and 30 showed remarkable coordination and conditioning during the two-day event, hosted by the Brampton Acro Ropers. The skills though shouldn’t be a surprise when you find out just how hard the skippers work.

From the beginning of their season in September the Brampton Acro Ropers have been gathering three nights a week at various locations in Brampton working out two hours each time. You need to put in that much time to get to the level where you can do things like somersaults while skipping. For the athletes its a labour of love. “It’s a chance to be creative,” said Olivia Bruce, an 18-year who has been skipping with the club for nearly 11 years. She is one of the members of BOMK, along with Megan Jarchow 18, Brittany Gillies, 19 and Kylie Matheson, 19 (the team name comes from the initials of their first name). That team came first in the Senior Girls (aged 18 and over) team event at the provincials during the first day. Another Brampton team, the S Jets, made up of Sarah Polstra, Erin Postma, Jake Whyte and Sydney van Engelen finished first in the 12 to 14 category. Winning at the provincials allows them to advance to the nationals later this year in Calgary. In 2009 the BOMK foursome won the national title. 

Elvis Malcolm, who coaches the Brampton Acro Ropers along with Heather Halliday, started skipping years ago for conditioning as he competed in jiujutsu and stuck with the sport, winning numerous championships before becoming a coach. The Acro Ropers don’t spend their time just skipping. There is also a lot of push ups and sit ups to develop the conditioning needed. That may not be as much fun as the jump rope routines but Malcolm said the club members realize it has to be done. “When they see the older ones they realize that’s what they have to do,” he said. Besides teams from Ontario the championship also included the Comet Skippers from Mason, Ohio. Rope skipping is practiced in a number of countries. The Brampton club established in 1987 has had members competing in such places as South Africa and London, England. 

David Whyte, vice president of the Brampton club said efforts are being made to try to get jump rope into the Olympics. “The problem is there are different rules in different countries,” he said. “The difference is in the judging.” The first day of the provincials was the team competition followed by the Masters or individual events on the second day. In the 18 to 29 female division Gillies took first place with Jarchow third, Bruce fourth and Matheson finishing ninth. Jake Whyte took first in the male ten to 11 category. Armaan Walani in the male 12 to 14 wound up third. There were 50 competitors in the female 12 to 14 division with Brampton’s Julie Bincik finishing ninth. Postma was 15th, van Engelen 19th, Polstra 20th and Caitlin Bergin 27th. Brampton’s Krystal Veldhoen was eighth in the 15 to 17 female. Jenna Wilson wound up ninth, Ellory Bruce 11th, Laura Featherstone 12th and Taylor Page 15th. Lillie Yatco was 10th out of 36 in the 10 to 11 female category. Heather Tyner took ninth in female 8. 9. 

Besides its competitive team the Brampton Acro Ropers also have a recreational program aimed at ages six to 13. Those interested in finding out more can go to the club’s website or email to

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