Ashley - Athlete of the week

Brampton Acro Ropers' Ashley was voted athlete of the week in Barrie and she does an interview and video. Have a look and enjoy. PS> The video is up right after the short commercial!

Acro Ropers jump for joy at nationals

Acro Ropers Submitted photo The Brampton Acro Ropers had a terrific medal haul at the recent nationala championships in Abbotsford B.C. Individual medalists from left: Jake Whyte, Elizabeth Mathai, Armaan Walani, Caleb Mathai, Keagan Dunne and coach Heather Halliday

The Brampton Guardian - July 17th 2014

BRAMPTON—The Brampton Acro Ropers competitive rope skipping team returned from Abbotsford B.C. and the recent national championships with plenty of reasons to smile.

Athletes who had qualified from the provincials were eligible for the Rope Skipping Canada (RSC) National Competition held over four days, with competition in team and masters (or individual) events. These included speed and power events and freestyle routines that are choreographed to music.

Nine Brampton Acro Ropers and head coach Heather Halliday returned with medals. The mixed team of Caleb and Elizabeth Mathai, Heather Tyner and Claire Smith won six of eight team events and claimed the gold medal for the 12 to 14 age group.

Individually, Elizabeth Mathai placed first in the female 10 and 11 age group. Keagan Dunne placed third for the boys. Jake Whyte defended his national title, winning gold in the 12 to 14 division. Teammate Caleb Mathai was a close second. Armaan Walani won the bronze medal in male 15 to 17.

Other top finishers in the individual results included Thomas Rewa (sixth in males 15 to 17), Krystal Veldhoen (seventh in female 18 to 29) and Caitlin Bergin (13th in female 15 to 17).

The Brampton Acro Ropers practice from September to June, three nights per week in preparation for competition locally, provincially, nationally and at world championships. Three members from the team will be competing in Florida this summer a World Rope competition.

Anyone interested in the team should check the website


Acro Ropers land Gold


The Brampton Guardian - July 3rd, 2013

Acro Ropers land Gold. The Brampton Acro Ropers competitive jump rope team earned a gold medal in overall Group Routine at the Canadian Rope Skipping Championships held recently at Brock University in St. Catharines.

The Brampton team sent 22 competitive athletes to compete in team and individual (masters) events during the three-day competition and had great success representing Ontario. Teams from B.C. to Nova Scotia qualified for the nationals at their provincials.

The gold medal group routine was make up of coach Kylie Matheson, Ellory Bruce, Laura Featherstone, Sarah Polstra, Erin Postma, Crystal Veldhoen, Thomas Rewa, Lillie Yatcok, Sydney van Engelen, Jilia Bincik, Caitlin Bergin and Jake Whyte.

The 12 to 14 year-old mixed team of Jersey Payne, Armaan Walani, Bergin and Yatco won the silver medal. The group of Caleb Mathai, Heather Tyner, Elizabeth Mathai and Claire Smith earned the bronze.

The 15 to 17 mixed team of Whyte, Bincik, Thomas Rewa, van Engelen and Postma also won silver. The senior girls, aged 18 to 29 team of Brittany Gillies, Olivia Bruce, Krista Simpson, Heather Halliday and Kylie Matheson placed second overall.

In overall individual results Rewa and Walani placed fourth and fifth respectively in the boys 12 to 14 group. Olivia Bruce and Crystal Veldhoen were fourth and sixth in senior. Whyte won gold while Gillies took a silver in their age groups.

Numerous Brampton athletes placed in the top six during individual masters events.

The team is now preparing for the World Jump Rope competition in Orlando this summer. They also continue to perform demonstrations and lead workshops to promote the sport.

Recreational and competitive teams are available for boys and girls ages 6 and older. For more information go to the website

Acro Ropers bring home the gold


The Brampton Guardian - Friday, Sept 9, 2011

Acro Ropers bring home the gold
The Brampton Acro Ropers (BAR) had an impressive showing at the recent Canadian National Skipping Championships held at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Alberta. The Brampton club brought home gold medals in multiple events and in the overall standings. The only two boys on the BAR team both become national champions. Armaan Walani in the boys 12 to 14 category took the overall gold after placing first in both the Masters Speed and Double Under events as well as placing second in the Singles Speed event. Jake Whyte won the national crown for boys aged 10 and 11, placing first in those same events for his category and the Freestyle Singles.

The BAR women also held their own. In the 18 to 29 age female category Brittany Gillies took silver while Megan Jarchow and Olivia Bruce took fourth and fifth place respectively out of 17 competitors. Of the 21 entrants in the 15 to 17 female age category Laura Featherstone wound up sixth overall while Krystal Veldhoen placed seventh. In the same category BAR's Jenna Watson placed 11th while Ellory Bruce was 14th. BAR also fared well in the team category. In the 12 to 14 mixed category the team of Whyte, Erin Postman, Sarah Polstra and Sydney van Engelen took the overall silver. The five-member team of Jenna Watson, Bruce, Featherstone, Krystal Veldhoen and Taylor Page won the bronze for females aged 15 to 17. The BAR team of Gillies, Bruce, Jarchow and Kylie Matheson secured the gold in female 18 to 29 division.

Nearly 300 skippers from clubs across Canada competed in both team and individual speed, endurance and freestyle events over the three days of competition, ending with the large group routines and the awards ceremonies. Jump rope has evolved over the past few years so that freestyle events are a unique combination of skipping, gymnastics and dance.

Established in 1987 the Brampton Acro Ropers are a non-profit community organization dedicated to the promotion of personal development, health, fitness and fun through friendly competition. The team is composed of energetic and enthusiastic athletes from age eight and older who love the challenge and fun of this competitive sport. The club practices six hours a week from the beginning of September until the end of June. In a typical season, the team attends several jump rope workshops, performs numerous demos and competes at regional, provincial and national competitions. Some of the BAR athletes have competed at past Summer Junior Olympics in the United States and the very best athletes will represent Canada at the 2012 World Championships. Besides its competitive team, BAR also has a recreational program aimed at ages 6 to 13. The next eight-week session begins Sept. 28.
For more information about the Brampton Acro Ropers visit

Acro Ropers Jumping for Joy


The Brampton Acro Ropers had a number of provincial champions when the club hosted the Ontario championship recently at Mayfield Secondary School. Among the winners was the senior girls team of (from left) Kylie Matheson, Brittany Gillies, Olivia Bruce and Megan Jarchow.

Provincials held at Mayfield


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 young athletes, from 11 different clubs, between the agErin Provincials.JPGes 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Ropers claim national titles


The Brampton Guardian - Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Twenty-one athletes from the Brampton Acro Ropers participated with great success in this year's National Jump Rope Championships in Abbotsford, BC.

Two 4-person teams became National Champions. In the 10-11 mixed category the team of Thomas Rewa, Jake Whyte, Alana Coughlin and Sydney van Engelen won 4 out of 8 events and the overall National Title. In the 15-17 female category, Brittany Gillies, Olivia Bruce, Megan Jarchow and Kylie Matheson (see picture to the left_ won 5 out of 8 events, set 4 new Team Speed Records and won the overall National title.

In addition, the Brampton Acro Ropers teams of Ellory Bruce, Zoe Lefebvre, Erin Postma, Bridget Page (12-14 Female), Laura Featherstone, Krystal Veldhoen, Jenna Watson, Taylor Page(15-17 Female) and Amy Chiappetta, Jaclyn Santamaria, Erika Wolter, Kathleen O'Callaghan (18-29 Female) participated in the National Championships.

In the individual events, 4 team members won National Titles in their age categories; Jake Whyte (8-9 Male); Thomas Rewa (10-11 Male); Brittany Gillies (15-17 female) and Shelby Toews (18-29 Female). Top five finishes were achieved by Alana Couglin (4th, 10-11 Female), Megan Jarchow (3rd, 15-17 Female), Olivia Bruce (2nd, 15-17 Female), Jaclyn Santamaria (2nd, 18-29 Female). In the process, Olivia, Shelby & Jaclyn each set new National Records in each of their respective age categories, while Jake set 2 National Records in his age category.

Approximately 300 skippers from clubs all across Canada competed in both team and individual speed, endurance & freestyle events over the 2 days of the competition, ending with large group routines & awards ceremonies. Jump rope as a sport has evolved over the past several years so that freestyle events are a unique combination of skipping, gymnastics and dance.

Established in 1987, the Brampton Acro Ropers are a non-profit community organization dedicated to the promotion of personal development, health, fitness and fun through friendly competition. The team is composed of energetic and enthusiastic eight to eighteen year olds who love the challenge and fun of this competitive sport.

The Brampton Acro Ropers practice six hours a week from the beginning of September until the end of June. In a typical season, the team attends several jump rope workshops, performs numerous demos and competes at Regional, Provincial and National jump rope competitions. Some of the Brampton Acro Ropers athletes also compete at the summer Junior Olympics in the US and their very best athletes represent Canada at the World Championships (2008 Worlds were in South Africa!). For more information about the Brampton Acro Ropers, visit their website at

Jump Rope Featured in new TV series

Starting Saturday Sept 20th, Fox, CW, ABC, My TV and affiliates will feature a a new series: The Real Winning Edge TV series for teens. The shows are unfortunately only be available in the US. The Winning Edge delivers to our  youth the kind of entertainment value they enjoy watching, while promoting a value system that enforces a strong source of purpose and worthiness. This 13 week television series includes three profiles of young achievers per 30 minute episode.  On week 8, Anna Schemmelfing, from H.S. Jump Rope. National Champion, NC will be featured.   Check out the website for more info:

Acro Ropers shine at Junior Olympics

alt The Brampron Guardian - Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Two members of the Brampton Acro Ropers competitive jump rope team brought home medals from the AAU Junior Olympics competition held in Detroit last month.

The AAU Junior Olympic Games competition is the largest youth multi-sport event in the world with 16,000 athletes competing in 21 sports from nearly all 50 US states and many countries from across the world. The BAR skippers fit in well among the 575 jump rope athletes from 39 teams, coming from as far away as Singapore and Australia to jump rope.

Competing in the 9 year-old category, Alana Coughlin (Georgetown) came home with a gold medal in power, a bronze medal in speed and finished 6th in freestyle. Sydney van Engelen (Brampton), also competing in the 9 year-old category, received a bronze medal in power and came in 10th in speed.

Alana and Sydney also competed in the pair's competition where they placed 9th and 10th in power and speed.

A third Brampton Acro Ropers skipper, Shelby Toews (from Leamington) won the all-around gold medal for 15-17 year-old girls by earning a gold medal in power-jumping and silver medals in both speed and freestyle.

To qualify for the Junior Olympics, Shelby, Alana & Sydney placed 1st, 2nd and 4th in their respective age categories at the recent Canadian National Jump Rope competition held in Halifax.

Established in 1987, the Brampton Acro Ropers are a non-profit community organization dedicated to the promotion of personal development, health, fitness and fun through friendly competition.
The team is composed of energetic and enthusiastic eight to seventeen year olds who love the challenge and fun of this competitive sport. In recent years, the team has traveled throughout Canada and the U.S. to attend competitions and elite jump rope workshops.

Their performance history includes appearances in the Disney movie "Jump In!", Canada AM, CityTv, YTV, at Toronto Argonauts football games, and most recently at the Sprockets Film Festival premiere of the documentary "Jump". Also the Acro Ropers sponsor a recreational program to inspire novice skippers to develop their talents. For more information about the Brampton Acro Ropers, visit their website at

Local hero: Emily MacRae


The Hamilton Spectator - June 7, 2008

Local Hero:  Emily MacRae, 12
City: Burlington
Sport: competitive rope skipping

Accomplishment: She won her fourth straight Canadian Rope Skipping Championship in Halifax on Victoria Day weekend. She competes in the junior division (ages 12, 13, 14). Her competition features four events: 30-second speed, three-minute endurance, three-minute power and freestyle. In order, Emily finished third, first, first and first.

 Link to the article on line:


Toews wins gold

Windsor Star - Wednesday, August 06, 2008

National skipping champion Shelby Toews of Leamington won a gold medal at the Junior Olympics in Detroit on the weekend.

Toews also broke a Canadian record with 187 consecutive skips (the previous record was 171 skips) at the world championships in Cape Town, South Africa. Toews, who ended up 20th at the championships, maintained a top-10 spot before missing the bronze.

The junior olympic medallist and several of her Leamington Acro-Ropers students will demonstrate their rope-jumping talents at 10:30 a.m. and again at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Steam Engine show at Co-An Park in McGregor.

Read the article in the Windsor Star.

Jumping for Joy

Toronto Star - Brand New Planet - Thursday, February 15, 2007

Have you ever been challenged and had fun at the same time? Well, I have. I am a skipper with the Brampton Acro Ropers and every time I pick up my jump rope I am eager to tackle difficult skills. Skipping is a very unique sport because there are both team, and individual events. My skipping club in Brampton has athletes from the ages of 7 to 15, divided into teams of four or five by age. Even though I am only 11, I skip in the 12-14 age category. Skipping is for both boys and girls, but so far our team only consists of girls. I have been skipping for four years. My friend Emily introduced me to skipping and I joined my first competitive team when I was 7. I love to skip! You make a lot of friends while skipping. I have not only become close friends with my five-person team - Olivia, Jenna, Stephanie and Emily - but I also have developed a strong bond with the other jumpers.

You have to be very committed to be a skipper. The Brampton Acro Ropers have three practices a week; each practice is two hours. It is important to be at practices because your team is counting on you, you have individual events to prepare, and coaches are there to assist you. I also have a private two-hour skipping lesson every week and you have to train at home. In the weeks leading up to a competition, you often practice at least 12 hours a week. It is important to do strength training and improve your flexibility. Equipment involved in jumping includes shoes that are light and have good support, and several ropes. We use a wire rope, sometimes coated in plastic, for speed and power, but if you make a mistake the rope leaves slash marks on your legs. It hurts! There is also a freestyle rope which is longer, so that you can do intricate trick combinations. Double dutch ropes are used for the team events; if you watch the movie Jump In!, the actors use double dutch ropes to perform their routines. You really only need four ropes, but I have 12 ropes. The Brampton Acro Ropers wear two different uniforms for competitions. For our team events, we usually wear a black shirt with red shorts (in the photos), and for Masters we usually wear a white shirt with black shorts. However, at practices, we get to wear regular T-shirts and shorts. At competitions, there are four individual and eight team events. The individual events are SPEED where you go as fast as you can for 30 seconds, and only the right foot gets counted. Another speed event is three minute ENDURANCE. I also do POWER in which I jump as many triple unders as I can. A triple under occurs when the rope goes under your feet three times in one jump. Masters freestyle is a routine you perform alone to music and is judged based on its difficulty and creativity. Likewise, in team, there are both four-person and pairs single-rope freestyle routines in which it is important that all the jumpers are in sync. My friend Emily is my pairs partner. We work well together and last year we won first place for our pairs routine at provincials. There are three main competitions a year, and biannually a Worlds competition is held. The first competition, regionals, is one day. Each athlete competes in 12 events so it's a long, exhausting day. Next is the two-day provincial competition; if you rank in the Top 8, you will compete in Nationals. Nationals is three days long and the best skippers from the nation compete. The Worlds competition was held in Toronto last year which was cool. I was too young to compete, but I volunteered there so I saw most of the performances. That was truly amazing and inspiring! My team got to skip during the intermission of the World Cup show, in front of 1,350 people. There are lots of benefits you get from skipping. For example, my team, the Acro Ropers, does shows at the Rogers Centre and then we get free tickets to attend the Argonauts' football game. We get to travel a lot. We went to Ohio for a workshop to learn skills from worldclass athletes. Also, some girls from our team were in the movie Jump In! Even though skipping keeps you active and physically fit, the best part is being challenged while you are having a blast!



Skipping onto the world stage

Oakville Beaver - July 21st 2006

A trio of Oakville girls is set to skip its way onto the world stage this weekend.
Brittany Gillies and her cousins, twin sisters Samantha and Jaclyn Santamaria, are competing in the International Rope Skipping Federation World and Maple Leaf International Championships that officially began yesterday (Thursday) at Humber College in Toronto. This is the first time Canada has been chosen to host the event, which will feature approximately 800 athletes from 14 countries.

It's also the first international rope skipping competition for the three local teens, all members of the Brampton Acro Ropers, though all are armed with plenty of big-meet experience. Gillies and Jaclyn Santamaria each won masters (individual) titles at the national championships earlier this year, also helping their Rope Illusions squad to a second-place finish in team competition. Samantha, meanwhile, was part of the U Can't D-feet Us team that finished third.

The 14-year-olds have not set lofty expectations for the world championships, cognizant of the fact they've already accomplished a lot this season.

"I'm really happy to qualify," said Gillies, who will join Jaclyn in the team competition at worlds and will also compete individually in the Maple Leaf masters division (a younger age group, since worlds is for those 15-and-older). "I'm hoping for top 10 or something (in the Maple Leaf)."

Samantha laughingly added, "Anything better than last. We don't expect first or second -- we're there for fun and hopefully top 20."

Samantha will participate in team competition with U Can't D-feet Us, as will Jaclyn with Rope Illusions. Additionally, Jaclyn will compete individually in masters action despite being a year younger than the minimum age.

"I want to do my best, but it's really more for the experience since this is my first time," she said. "I have other years hopefully to qualify."

Individual rope skipping features four different events: 30-second speed, three-minute endurance, power triple-unders and freestyle. The 30-second speed and three-minute endurance events simply measure the number of times the athlete can jump the rope in the allotted time, while power triple-unders awards the athlete for each time they clear the rope three times in a single jump. Freestyle is a mixture of the three different elements (speed, endurance and strength), with an overall title awarded to the athlete with the best aggregate score.

In team competition, squads participate in eight different events including speed relay, power relay, single freestyle and pairs freestyle. The routines are choreographed, synchronized and feature a wide array of artistic elements.

Gillies was the first of the three to skip rope competitively, with the Santamaria sisters following suit several years later. Their interest in rope skipping was sparked during their days at St. Andrew School by then-physical education teacher John Shaw.

"This sport is a sport you fall in love with," said Nadia Gillies, Brittany's mother. "There's probably no career in it but there's a lot of fun stuff."

The girls have done a number of demonstrations over the years, appearing on YTV as well as CityTV's Breakfast Television, largely in an effort to promote rope skipping in Canada. Following the world championships, the three Holy Trinity students will head to Virginia two days later for the Junior Olympics.


Ropers qualify 23 for nationals

The Brampton Guardian  Wednesday May 14 2008

BRAMPTON - The Brampton Acro Ropers (BAR) has qualified 23 of its 25 athletes for the National Rope Skipping Championships in Halifax from tomorrow until Saturday.

The club had plenty of success at the recent provincial championship in Stoney Creek. Club gold medals were in the junior 12 to 14 division to the BARbarians (Jenna Watson, Krystal Veldhoen, Emily MacRae, Sheyenne Chappell and Ellory Bruce).
Gold also went in the intermediate (aged 15 to 17) to Raising the BAR (a team made up of Erika Wolter, Jaclyn Santamaria, Samantha Santamaria, Brittany Gillies and Shelby Toews).
Also collecting gold for Brampton was the senior mixed (aged 18 to 29) team Drop the BAR (Brittany Yard, Kathleen O'Callaghan, Matt Delorey and Amy Chiappetta).

The Acro Ropers earned a fourth in intermediate to the team of Kylie Matheson, Megan Jarchow, Stephanie Hoey and Olivia Bruce). An additional fifth was in the novice 3 (10, 11) Leaping Lollipops team of Sydney Van Engelen, Erin Postma, Zoe Lefebvre and Alana Coughlin.
At the Masters provincials the club had four gold medal-winning performances. In the novice 2 division Coughlin, 8 brought home the gold.

In the junior division, MacRae, 12 earned gold, she is the defending national champion and has a three-year reign as the overall national champion in her age category.
Jaclyn Santamaria, 16 captured gold in the intermediate division. She is also the defending Canadian champion and has another earlier win as the overall national champ.
In senior males, Delorey, 23 took gold, he is the reigning freestyle silver medalist from the 2006 World Competition.

The silver medal in intermediate went to Olivia Bruce, 15, who also took first in freestyle. The intermediate bronze medal went to Toews, 16, the reigning silver medalist from the 2007 nationals.
The fourth-place finish in intermediate was by Gillies, 16, the 2007 national freestyle champion and the previous overall junior champion at the nationals.

Fifth place in novice 2 was by Van Engelen, 8, who also took third in the three-minute endurance.
Sixth place in intermediate was by Erika Wolter, 16, the 2007 overall national team champion.
All of those athletes from BAR have qualified for the nationals.
The Brampton team performed at the Fletcher's Meadow Spring Fling community event last Saturday (May 10) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

BAR is also anticipating sending a number of athletes and teams to the World Competition in South Africa in July.



Skippers eye worlds in South Africa

The Brampton Guardian  Thursday July 12 2007

BRAMPTON - Amy Chiappetta (left) and Kathleen O'Callaghan of Georgetown competed recently for the Brampton Acro Ropers in the National Rope Skipping Championships in Abbotsford B.C. As a club the Brampton team was highly successful, claiming two national champion gold medals in individual events. In team events, they took silver in 12-14 age division and gold plus 4th place in the 15-17 division.

Chiapetta's team won three out of eight team events in winning the overall gold for 15-17 year olds. O'Callaghan's team won two events and set a new national record in the double dutch speed relay, recording 324 skips in two minutes, breaking the old record of 311. Although fourth overall, they finished just two points short of the silver medal.

Hopes are high for next season when the Brampton team will be well positioned to have a number of its skippers qualify for Team Canada for the bi-annual world Championships, to be held in Cape Town South Africa in July 2008.