In early 2018, the International Rope Skipping Federation and World Jump Rope Federation merged to form a new united organisation, the International Jump Rope Union (IJRU). Supported and overseen by GAISF, the successful merger was championed by athletes, officials and stakeholders around the world.
Following the merger, IJRU was successfully granted GAISF Observer Status at SportAccord 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. With the help and guidance of GAISF, the Alliance of Independent recognised Members of Sport (AIMS) and other International Sports Federations (IFs), IJRU boasts 60 member countries worldwide and its growth continues to accelerate. By following its mission statement and core values of diversity, inclusion, excellence and innovation, IJRU aims to develop the sport of jump rope and rope skipping globally and to become, possibly soon, part of the GAISF family.
Commenting on IJRU’s global ambitions and achieving GAISF Observer Status, IJRU President Shaun Hamilton said:
“GAISF Observer Status has enabled us to connect with other International Federations. The support and guidance from GAISF has not only helped us develop as an organisation, it has allowed us to improve our governance and provide our members with the resources they need to succeed. We are very grateful for GAISF’s support in the development of IJRU, helping to navigate the global sporting landscape and provide opportunities to expand our programmes so that we can best serve our athletes. GAISF Observer Status provided the tools for IJRU to pursue international expansion, which has given a major boost to the credibility of our sport.
“We believe that setting good governance standards and laying a clear path for the next generation of leaders within our sport is fundamental to the success of IJRU. Jump rope and rope skipping is fast paced and exciting to watch. Therefore, by producing television-quality events, our aim is to engage the broader public and attract more spectators.”
As a relatively inexpensive sport, jump rope and rope skipping attracts a diverse group of professional and amateur athletes. By focusing on fitness, recreation, performance and competitive programmes, IJRU is aiming to promote the sport worldwide as a lifelong activity. However, just like the rest of the sports community and wider world, IJRU is having to adapt to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. IJRU has continued to engage with the jump rope and rope skipping community via its digital channels. In July and August, IJRU organised a successful series of online webinars for athletes, coaches and officials, focusing on diversity and inclusion, along with the implications of COVID-19 for the future of sport. In 2021, IJRU will host virtual competitions to continue to engage with its athletes and fans.
IJRU aims to create a professional circuit of events to continue to engage its athletes. Through the connections it has made with other IFs as a result of its GAISF Observer Status, IJRU can fine-tune its event circuit and global tournament model. In parallel, IJRU continues to develop its grassroots strategy to encourage youth on a clear path for lifelong engagement with the sport, providing an inclusive, safe, friendly and fair competitive environment for all participants, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, age and ability.