Skipping school to get ahead

2020-12-28 12:03:27

Members of the skipping team practice after school. WEI XIAOHAO/CHINA DAILY Visually impaired students build confidence through rope jumpingOn the afternoon of Nov 11, members of the Nanchang School for Blind Children's skipping-rope team in Jiangxi province started their regular training under the guidance of coach Xu Li. She said all her 13 charges have some form of visual impairment and range from primary to high school students. Skipping is a test of aerobic fitness, speed, coordination and skill, which Xu said presents quite a challenge for visually impaired people. They rely on sound and rhythm to decide their exact movements and need to practice more to build muscle memory, she said. After graduating from Nanchang Normal University's Sports Department in 2018, Xu became the team's coach. The team has won multiple awards in several national competitions, including the women's pairs title at the 10th National Games for People with Disabilities held in Tianjin last year. The team holds three training sessions a week, and some members are hoping to participate in the Tokyo Olympics next year, which was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "After training and competing in different events for two years, I feel my self-confidence is growing," said Hu Xiwen, a fifth grader. School principal Xiao Yong has named the skipping team "The Light". She said that besides rope skipping, the school offers other courses for visually impaired students such as table tennis, music and massage.