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by Al Williams

Six hundred and sixty South Canterbury primary school pupils took part in the 2017 Jump Jam Extravaganza at Timaru’s Theatre Royal this year.
Pupils, parents, staff and volunteers gathered on Wednesday last week for a day of song and dance and 56 teams from 22 schools went through their routines.
Sport Canterbury programme co-ordinator Lee-Anne Lang said the event was established in 2009 “with just six teams and in the last nine years, numbers have dramatically increased”.
The Jump Jam primary schools aerobics resource was developed by former New Zealand and world aerobics champion Brett Fairweather, Ms Lang said.
“Jump Jam Extravaganza was set up eight years ago by Sport Canterbury as a local participation event to help develop the skill and confidence of children using this resource.
“This event has now evolved into a well-respected annual competition between South Canterbury schools.”
Teams of up to 14 children compete in age group categories and are judged on team synchronisation, movement quality and performance.
The top 20 teams from the heats return to the Theatre Royal at night to compete in the finals.
“Sport Canterbury encourages and supports new teachers, parent coaches and student leaders through a Jump Jam coaches workshop,” Ms Lang said.
“This year, 32 student coaches were recognised and presented with certificates of outstanding leadership.
“Next year will be Sport Canterbury’s 10th celebration of Jump Jam here in Timaru and we plan to make it a very special occasion and one not to miss.”