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PJRA aims to increase jump rope awareness in the Philippines

From being a simple childhood activity or a part of a workout, the country's top jump rope practitioners aim to popularize it as a sport.

Noel Agra, president of the newly-established Philippine Jump Rope Association (PJRA), said that they have been staging competitions over the past months to raise awareness.

"We want to be [at the same standards] with the International Jump Rope Union (IJRU). We are working out the parts, which are single under, and the triple under," Agra explained during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast Tuesday.

Agra defined single under as a quest to have the most successful jumps in 30 or 180 seconds, while the triple jump is executing three twirls of the rope in a single leap.

Several tilts, including the PJRA Jump Dance, Trick or Trip, Just DU It, Pavic, and Don't Skip It, were held online to highlight the various disciplines the new sport offers.

Agra, who is also the son of Philippine Obstacle Sports Federation head Atty. Al Agra, said that he and other practitioners came up with the idea during the lockdown as a new physical activity that can be done alone. At present, Agra claims membership of almost 150 practitioners.

"I just had this huge dream of sharing the love for jump rope in any form, we found an opportunity when we established our federation. The fact that we can't go outside highlighted that and finding the people that jump rope just became a natural process," he explained. "There's always a good thing that comes out of any situation, through this negative situation, we were able to build the federation... Our mission is to share our love for jump rope for all. No age limit, no gender limit, no skill level limit. We design events for different skill levels."

He also mentioned that they have programs for people who want to learn the craft. Agra himself was just trying to find a quick workout that would cater to his job as a chef. Since starting in 2015, he shared that he had lost over 50 pounds.

For people aiming to start skipping rope as a weight-loss routine, Agra said doing it 10-15 minutes a day would be a big help, as long as the proper form is followed. Many people commit the error of lunging forward or skipping backward, but the right thing to do, said Agra, is to launch yourself high enough for the rope to pass through the feet.

"In a short amount of time, one minute of jump rope can burn 12-16 calories. So imagine how many minutes you put in a day?"

Agra, an instructor since 2019, obtained certification from Buddy Lee, inventor of the eponymous jump rope system, and Pump Rope.

He added that the federation is looking for endorsements from athletes who are already using the activity as part of their cardio workout. Agra also bared that they are now applying for recognition from the Philippine Olympic Committee and the IJRU, the world's governing body.

Today, 56 countries are recognized as members of the IJRU, including the United States, and neophytes Italy and Chinese Taipei. The Philippines has yet to host a formal competition, but Agra hopes that the country can catch up with its other Asian neighbors.

"If we're just aiming for a goal, might as well aim for the biggest that we can. To even win in the IJRU competitions is our main goal. We're very talented, we just need the guidance to get there. In Asia alone, many countries are already good," closed Agra.