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Champion Rope Skipper Hoping for International Success

A champion rope skipper from the University of Worcester is hoping for major success at international level this year.

Gemma McGhee, a second year Sports Therapy student, has been a member of the British Rope Skipping Team since the late 1990s and currently holds the British record for the most amount of jumps in three minutes, with 443 jumps.

Having competed extensively since the age of 12, she is now hoping for success at the European Championships in July.

“Rope skipping isn’t that big in the UK, outside of the playground,” said the 24-year-old. “It’s a little-known about sport, but one that is hugely enjoyable.”

Gemma has been awarded £500 from the University of Worcester’s Scholarship Panel, towards the cost of competing.

“We have to do all fundraising for competitions ourselves, with no sponsors or any financial help, so this scholarship is fantastic,” she said.

Gemma started skipping at junior school and then joined Jump Rope UK, based in her hometown of Studley in Warwickshire.

She attended her first World Championships in 1999 at the age of 12 and in 2002 came fourth in the contest. In 2003 Gemma won Silver with her team at the European Championships, and at the last European Championships in 2009 the team won Bronze overall and Silver for the single rope events.

Gemma, along with two of her team mates are currently listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most consecutive jumps by three people – known as Double Dutch Speed.

Gemma said: “As a competitor you have to do speed events and freestyle to music. I train up to four times a week, usually for about 2-3 hours.”

Gemma won Gold at the British Team Championships earlier this month and will compete at the European Championships in Hungary in July. She will also compete at the International Double Dutch Competition in Paris later in the year.