'We have to represent our state': Fond du Lac team representing home state at jump rope nationals

NOW: ’We have to represent our state’: Fond du Lac team representing home state at jump rope nationals

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Downtown Milwaukee is hopping with excitement this week as the American Jump Rope Federation takes over UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena for the national championship competition.

"We have 325 competitors from 29 teams around the country," explained Lindsay Nyman with the American Jump Rope Federation. "We do speed and freestyle throughout the whole week. On Sunday, we have our grand national competition."

Of the roughly 325 competitors, four of them are from here in the Badger State; Fond du Lac's Cardinal Skippers.

"I don't know what made them choose Milwaukee (to host nationals) but we are so grateful," said Jolinn Ennis, a jumper and coach for the Cardinal Skippers. "We have to be here. We have to represent our state."

Half of the Skippers are made up of the mother/daughter duo of Jessica and Hannah Hernandez. At forty-years-old, this year is Jessica's first year competing.

"My daughter was kind of alone doing some things so she needed some group work stuff so I was like 'Well, I'll do it with you this year,'" Jessica explained. "It turned out to be really fun and picked it up, 'Ok.'"

As for Hannah. She's grateful to be making memories with her mom.

"I've been trying to find a lot of things to do with her and it's a lot of fun. We get a lot of laughs," Hannah said. "It's really important to me."

With some teams having upwards of 60 athletes, the Skippers are admittedly one of the smaller teams competing. Ennis is hopeful the numbers will continue to grow in years to come.

"We have been the only team in Wisconsin, that we know of, for years," Ennis explained. "We do tryouts every May. It's slowly building up, but like some of these sports that aren't well known, people are afraid that they can't do it."

Hernandez is hopeful she can serve as an example for people to give it a shot.

"You just give it time," Jessica Hernandez said. "Anything you put your mind to you can do."

The finals on Sunday will be broadcast live on the American Jump Rope Federation's YouTube page.

Those interested in joining the Cardinal Skippers can get more information from the group's Facebook page.

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