Horsham Downs team Jump Jam to top of class
A group of Horsham Downs Primary School girls are celebrating a North Island aerobics title after hours of practice saw them become champions last Saturday.
The nine-strong squad of Zoe Holcroft, Monique Paul, Chance McKay, Cailin Tunnicliffe, Brittany Reynolds, Zeta Morgan, Olivia Mason, Nikita Komene and Jesse Chapman won the year seven and eight novice title at the Jump Jam Challenge in Taupo, with their four-minute routine to the Black Eyed Peas' Boom Boom Pow proving a hit with the judges.
Jump Jam is a kids' programme founded by Brett Fairweather - a two-time world and eight-time New Zealand aerobic champion.
Many schools around the country purchase the programme on DVD and teach the routines to pupils as part of their daily fitness routines.
The Jump Jam North and South Island competitions happen every second year, with the nationals the year in between, and teams perform a set routine from the programme, but are able to make creative changes of up to 30 per cent of it.
To make it to the North Island competition, schools had to first enter via a video of their students performing.
The Horsham Downs team, known as the HDS Dynamites, were coached by their teacher Kylie Gould and assistant coach Alicia Kirkwood, and had been practising their routine since the start of term two, upping the intensity to three or four times a week in the two months before the final.
For the final, teams are awarded two marks out of 10 for presentation and synchronisation/energy, and two marks out of five for creativity and costumes. Horsham Downs scored 7.7, 7.5, 3.9 and 4.8 respectively and ended up tied with fellow Hamilton school Maeroa Intermediate on 23.9 points, but the countback was the presentation mark, with Horsham Downs' 7.7 outweighing Maeroa's 7.3.
Gould said the girls were delighted to take the title and were now showing the way for others.
"They're still buzzing actually, we've had a few celebrations in the school. The girls from that team, they are the leaders when we do our Jump Jam as daily fitness. So the whole school's pretty excited and into it because they're now led by the North Island champions."