Kids jump at chance to set world record

Published 12:55 am Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Boys & Girls Club of Beaufort County was part of a national effort Tuesday to set a Guinness world record for jumping jacks, also known as star jumps.

More than 800 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country joined in the effort. It will be several days before it’s known if a record was set because Guinness World Records is verifying data as part of its certification process.

Guinness World Records defines this record as the most people performing jumping jacks simultaneously at multiple venues for two consecutive minutes.

In May 2010 in Sarasota, Fla., 278 children performed jumping jacks for two minutes. Until then, there was no record for the most people doing jumping jacks at the same time.

Sarah Godley, community director for the local Boys & Girls Club, said local participants began at the same time as other participants around the nation. The event was a part of National Boys & Girls Club Week activities and observances.

“Every day this week we’re doing something different to get the kids involved more,” Godley said.

Harold Leary, athletics director for the local club, said he was impressed with the way the children stayed together while performing the star jumps, so called because a person’s arms, legs and head form a five-pointed “star” while performing them.

“Some of them were a little more tired than we were at the end,” he said. “So, that just means we need to do more physical activity. When they come here, this is the time for them to be active, not just sit around. It’s happening all around the country. We need to be more proactive in our children’s physical well-being, as well as their academics.”

Leary said he is incorporating more physical activities into the club’s programs for children so they spend less time sitting around and playing video games. Leary said the attempt to set a record helped focus attention on the importance of young people having healthful, active lifestyles and the club’s resources that help them do that.

Those resources, Leary said, include Triple Play, a proven health-and-wellness program that encourages children to eat healthful food, become more physically active and increase their ability to engage in healthful relationships.