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Former Blue Bomber gives demo at Fort la Reine School

By Robin Dudgeon, Portage Daily Graphic

Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber and World Jump Rope Champion Willie Amos was in Portage Tuesday where he ran a jump rope demonstration out of Fort la Reine School.

Amos once played for the Blue Bomber and the Edmonton Eskimos; he now lives in Texas where he co-owns a jump rope consulting group Jumpin' Sports Industries and owns fitness company Famos Fitness.

"This is his fourth time coming in to Portage, he's been to Arthur Meighen School twice, he's been out to the Elm River Colony, and this year he is here," said Catherine Newham, program coordinator with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba. "His primary objective for this week is to meet with demonstration teams and coaches and that's what we'll be doing."

Amos, who is the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Honourary JUMP Coach for the fourth year in a row, did a demonstration for JUMP demonstration teams from Portage and Dauphin. Coach Cam Scott and the Fort la Reine Funky Jumpers attended, as did Coaches Tanya Love and Ron Chartrand from Dauphin Elementary School's team The Dauphin Red Hot Chili Steppers.

JUMP demonstration teams are a group of students who practice and learn JUMP tricks as an extra-curricular activity. They travel and demonstrate JUMP skills to students and their instructors at other JUMP schools across the province. There are seven JUMP Demo teams in Manitoba.

Portage's JUMP demonstration team this year is smaller and has many newer members than in past years. Newham said the team usually has about 40 kids taking part; this year there are only about 12 kids taking part.

"They're going to work for two hours this morning then this afternoon he's doing two more hours of intensive demonstration time. By the end of the day today they'll be very smooth and they'll know a lot of things they didn't know at the start," said Newham.

Amos arrived from Texas on Sunday, was in Brandon on Monday, Portage on Tuesday, will be in Selkirk on Wednesday, Winnipeg on Thursday, and will be at the SAG conference to meet with phys ed teachers on Friday.

"He usually comes in January but we felt because of the weather it would be better to come now and so far so good, the weather's been great," said Newham.

Central Manitoba has one of the most active Jump Rope for Heart programs in the province.

"We have 30 schools that participate on a regular basis. The amount raised varies, it's usually in the $100,000 range," said Newham.

Participating schools include schools in Portage, MacGregor, Gladstone, Austin who take part every year, and Oakville who participates every other year.

To see Willie Amos in action at the 1999 World Jump Rope Championships visit

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