Hop, skip and a Jump Jam

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - RE­BECCA MOORE

An In­ver­cargill school is jump­ing for joy af­ter qual­i­fy­ing for na­tion­als in Jump Jam.

Af­ter Wai­hopai School’s suc­cess last year, win­ning the open cat­e­gory at re­gion­als in Christchurch, this year the school has a team set for the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion in Auck­land this week­end.

Jump Jam is a fu­sion of dance and fit­ness dis­ci­plines, along with cul­tural in­ter­pre­ta­tions that cap­ture the look, at­ti­tude, pos­ture and el­e­ments of aer­o­bics and fit­ness.

Teacher Linda Comp­ton said the group of 12 girls, in years 4 to 6, qual­i­fied as one of eight schools in the coun­try to com­pete in the top sec­tion, the ’Ad­vanced Open’.

The team, Bonisch Wai­hopai Magic, sub­mit­ted a video en­try with the hopes of be­ing se­lected in ei­ther the novice, open or ad­vanced open sec­tions.

Stu­dents put in hours be­fore school, in weekends and school hol­i­days since term two.

The stu­dents’ rou­tine, called Magik 2.0, was ‘‘well re­hearsed and pol­ished’’, Comp­ton said.

Although they had no ex­pec­ta­tions of a win at the com­pe­ti­tion, they went at it with hopes.

‘‘It’s a tough com­pe­ti­tion but I’m re­ally proud.’’

The team had a nat­u­ral en­ergy and ex­cite­ment that was ap­par­ent in their rou­tine, and they also learnt about team­work, con­fi­dence, fit­ness and hav­ing fun, Comp­ton said.

On Fri­day the team per­formed for lo­cal schools and mem­bers of their school com­mu­nity as prac­tice.

‘‘We feel like the whole of In­ver­cargill is get­ting be­hind us,’’ Comp­ton said.

Jump Jam was grow­ing na­tion­ally, but it was not as pop­u­lar in In­ver­cargill, so she hoped the Wai­hopai School team would en­cour­age more schools to take part.

‘‘There are many chil­dren that are amaz­ing.’’

Team cap­tain Ge­or­gia Tuau Kuiti, who was also in the team last year, said she felt like the team had al­ready won by be­ing se­lected for na­tion­als.

‘‘We’ve worked re­ally hard but it was very worth it,’’ she said.

About 90 schools through­out the coun­try will come to­gether to com­pete at West­lake Boys High School in Auck­land on Satur­day.

Wai­hopai School is the only school from South­land, with their near­est com­peti­tors from Cromwell Col­lege.

KAVINDA HERATH

Wai­hopai School’s Jump Jam team is head­ing for the na­tion­als in Auck­land.

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