by Greta Yeoman
The 10th anniversary of the South Canterbury Jump Jam Extravaganza takes place in Timaru on Wednesday.
Event co-ordinator Lee King said primary-aged pupils would perform a variety of the Jump Jam programme’s upbeat, aerobic, dance numbers at Timaru’s Theatre Royal event.
When the Extravaganza began a decade ago, it was held in a school hall with just six teams.
Numbers blossomed to 28 the following year and have kept growing, Mrs King said.
Wednesday’s event would feature 60 teams, made up of more than 700 children from across South Canterbury – including three new schools.
“It actually grows because the children drive it forward.”
She said some of the pupils who had taken part in Jump Jam in their earlier primary school years had returned to their old schools or supported their younger schoolmates by coaching the upcoming teams.
“That’s a really nice by-product,” Mrs King said.
Schools around the region had been using the Jump Jam resource as an exercise option since 2000.
Founder Brett Fairweather, who was a two-time world aerobic champion, had run a national jump jam competition that Mrs King had attended – inspiring her to bring the concept back to South Canterbury.
The competition was divided into three age group categories with a novice and open section in each.
Heats for the day of aerobic dance would begin at 8.30am on Wednesday and would wrap at 3pm.
The novice teams’ prizegiving would be held during that time, but the open section finals and awards would be held later that night, Mrs King said.
The organisers would choose 20 teams to perform in the finals show, which would also be the prize-giving.