“Go, Scott! Keep it going! Yah!”

Hundreds of kids jumped rope for hours in competition to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

They have been practicing for weeks and learning about the Healthy Counts program at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Coach Addie Donley from Southwest Community Campus says competition is the best part of Jump Jam.

“Everyone has been working hard and it’s paying off today,” she said.  “Jump Jam is special because it brings exercise together for the kids. Seeing all these kids from so many different schools competing in a stress-free environment is what it’s all about.”

Maximilian Young, a coach and teacher at Harrison Park, is new to Jump Jam.

“I’m a first-year teacher and this is a great way of connecting with my students,” he said. “I love seeing them being so active, and Jump Jam is a great way to get students involved in sports at a young age.”

Jump Jam enhances current school offerings of physical activities, create opportunities for physical fitness, foster teamwork, goal-setting, sportsmanship and a proactive approach to health.

Students from more than 20 schools in Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming participated in a variety of competitive jump rope categories.

They explained some of their favorite moves: crisscross, double unders, jumping in, single long rope and the iron kid—a move where you do all the tricks together at once.

Ten-year-old Andrew Warren from Southwest Community Campus competed in Iron King, the long jump and relay.

“Jumping rope is the best,” he said. “We’ve been practicing for at least four weeks—it’s a lot of fun.”

Julianna Reyes, 10, and her friend Acacia Graveling, 9, competed for Harrison Park.

“Jumping rope makes exercise fun!” they both agreed.