UWindsor student skips past provincial competition

Jumping rope should be an Olympic sport, says Shelby Toews.

“Until it is, the talent jumpers have will always be overlooked, and it’s unfortunate,” says the third-year environmental sciences student. “Since it isn’t in the Olympics, people don’t realize the dedication and hard work it takes.”

 Shelby Toews

Champion skipper Shelby Toews.

Toews, a native of Leamington, won the Ontario Provincial Skipping Championship, Sunday at Essex District High School. She took the top spot in both speed contests by completing the most steps in separate 30-second and three-minute intervals.

“I was one step away from the national record I set at the last competition,” Toews said – 894 jumps in three minutes.

She also placed second in consecutive triple unders – bringing the rope under her feet three times per jump – and third in freestyle with a 75-second choreographed routine highlighting gymnastic skills including kicks and flips.

Her success is the result of a lot of hard work, said Toews. She missed more than a year of competition with a knee injury and found it difficult to be out of the sport, which has been a significant part of her life for 15 years.

Her daily practices in the St. Denis Centre are preparing her ready to represent Ontario at the National Canadian Skipping Championships, in New Brunswick during the Victoria Day long weekend.

She hopes to take that title to the World Skipping Championships in Orlando, Florida, August 4 to 7. She won silver at the 2010 world championships and is looking to jump up the podium to gold this time around.

– story and photo by Tanya Michel