Year five students at Canberra Girls Grammar School (CGGS) picked up their skipping ropes on Friday 26 June, for the annual Heart Foundation Jump Rope for Heart ‘Jump Off’ day.
At the time of writing, the students had raised over $11,000 for the Heart Foundation, a cause which is close to their hearts. The school community lost their chaplain, Reverend David Willsher, when he suffered a heart attack last year.
Dr Willsher’s wife, current school chaplain Reverend Jenny Willsher, said the community has rallied around her, and the students’ commitment to Jump Rope for Heart’s cause is indicative of their enthusiasm and generosity.
“It’s just symbolic of the Girls Grammar community and that they’re just a generous, loving, supporting community,” she said.
“And I know David was not sick, he didn’t have symptoms or anything; his death was really sudden. I think that was probably a reality check for all of them, that life is a gift.”
The students have been hard at work over the term, collecting donations and, of course, practicing their skipping. Jump Rope for Heart Coordinator and year five teacher Richard Bond said Dr Willsher had been on the students’ minds as they worked through the program.
“The students have still had a lot of fun skipping and learning tricks, but this also brought home to them why we should take good care of our hearts,” he said.
“It opened conversations about why it’s so important to find new ways to prevent and treat heart disease.”
The students worked together in groups to come up with a skipping routine to showcase at the Jump Off, and CGGS student Ellie said the goal was to “have fun” while supporting the important work of the Heart Foundation.
“I find it’s very nice that the Heart Foundation does this for people, because my dad had a heart attack four years ago,” she said.
“We included everyone’s ideas [into our routine] and made sure everyone could do the moves. I think we had lots of fun and our aim was to have lots of fun with it.”