On July 2 through July 9, the Tsunami Skippers head to Norway to compete in the World Jump Rope Championship.
“This will be our third World Jump Rope Championship,” said Stacey Dundas, co-founder and coach of the Tsunami Skippers.
The Skippers went to Washington, D.C., in 2012, and Florida in 2016.
“This is a record breaking event,” Dundas said. “Jump rope is trying to become an Olympic sport, and after this year, everyone will have to qualify in order to attend an event. This is the last time it’s open to anyone who wants to go. It’s an opportunity we may or may not get again. These kids have worked their butts off and they’re pretty darn good.”
Dundas and Shannon Carey founded the Tsunami Skippers Jump Rope Team in 2006. Their goal was to give kids an alternative sport in Clatsop County. The team competed in the USA JR Nationals in Long Beach, California, and hosted jump rope camps and workshops, and fundraising events.
They’ve performed at elementary school assemblies across Oregon and Washington, and have done high school halftime shows, Blazer pregame shows. They’ve marched in parades. The Norway trip is a trip of a lifetime. The Tsunami Skippers are the only jump rope team from Oregon making the journey.
“We only found out six months ago the World Jump Rope Championship would be in Oslo,” Dundas said.
The Tsunami Skippers team includes 20 kids, but only nine will be headed to Norway. “I had to pair them to compete, so there’s been some shifting around,” she said.
To prepare for the championship, she said she’s been pushing them a little harder and expecting a bit more of them.
Traveling to Norway are nine kids and four competing adults.
Six from the 11 and 12-year-old group will attend, and three from the 13 and 14-year-old team. Four adults will accompany the group.
Sponsors include Duane Johnson Real Estate; Dundees Bar & Grill; Clatsop Distributing; Defiant Boatworks; Gearhart Dentistry; Inland Electric; Johnson and Sons Electrical; Inland Electric; Lum’s Auto Center; Providence Seaside Hospital; Moto Mortgage Professionals; Rivertide Suites; Providence Seaside Hospital; Seaside Acquarium; and Seaside Family Dentistry, among others.
Preparation for the trip is focusing on the speed events. “We’re pushing past each event by ten seconds to build up stamina,” Dundas said.
The Tsunami Skippers train two days a week at Broadway Middle School.
“This trip will be the first time for most of the kids to leave North America,” Dundas said. “It’s the last World Jump Rope Championships before the special qualifications. After this, the odds of being able to go dramatically will shift.”
On April 27, the Tsunami Skippers participated in a tournament at Seaside High School.
“We hosted,” Dundas said. “We had three other teams beside our own attending.”
These included Hotdog USA from Kirkland, Washington; West City Rope Ninjas from Seattle; and Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers from Bainbridge, among about 90 competitors.
“We had 20 kids competing on our teams and we had 17 personal records set, which is exciting,” she added. “In our speed events we placed 35 times in the top five, and in freestyle events, 27 times in the top five. The kids did really well.”
Dundas said at the tournament in April she got to see her own jump rope coach, who she hadn’t seen since she was in fifth grade.
“I cried,” she said. “He was my PE teacher in elementary school in Eugene. We were called ‘The Hot Peppers.’ That’s where it all began.”
Jump rope, as Dundas can attest, is a way to see the world.
“I went on my first airplane ride through jump rope,” she said. “I went to the San Diego Soccer stadium to perform in front of 20,000 people. I did an international jump rope camp, which was a game changer for me, seeing different styles.”
It was her own experience of jump rope that inspired her to start the Tsunami Skippers when her daughter Haylee was in third grade at Cannon Beach Elementary School. Haylee is a college student now. She does photography for the Tsunami Skippers.
For more information about the Tsunami Skippers, log on to their website at tsunamiskippers.com.