A jump rope approach to life

KILAUEA — Five-time world jump roping champion Rene Bibaud visited Kaua‘i schools this week with a message of confidence and working towards a goal.

Bibaud said she found a correlation between fun and fitness.

“When youth are having fun, they’re learning character info and are more willing to try new things,” she said. “They start showing their willingness to work.”

Her visits were part of an enrichment program she shares across the country. Her goal is to visit 200 schools within the school calendar year.

“I’m about halfway there,” she said.

She also shared her own personal story of how she worked hard to get where she is now.

“My elementary school physical education teacher was starting a jump rope team called The Hot Dogs,” Rene said. “Well, I really wanted to be a member, but I wasn’t one of the kids invited to be on the team that year.”

She kept trying and trying, year after year.

“Finally, he thought, you know, ‘She might not be the best jump roper, but she’ s a hard worker’ and in sixth grade, I made the team.”

Since then, she’s been a successful jump roper, served as a performer and choreographer for the French Canadian circus Cirque du Soleil and was a commentator for ESPN.

Bibaud then performed one of her solo routines. Amazed, the kids got really excited. So when she asked for volunteers, hands shot up faster than she could jump rope.

She even got a Kiluaea School teacher to jump in.

Her main messages were “Be yourself, don’ t worry about mistakes and to always give it your best.”

Kilauea School principal Fred Rose said those were simple messages, but good ones.

“It’ s good for the kids to have something like this,” Rose said. “It reenergizes them and gets them going again. They all have jump ropes in their classrooms and this kind of gets them into it.”

For more information on Bibaud, visit jumpropenet.com.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com

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