Most families join in the tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, but some members of the Heartbeats Jump Rope team from Cleveland, Ohio will get the chance to participate in the parade. The Heartbeats will coordinate the Macy’s Day Parade routine and some will have the chance to participate, along with other jumpers from around the country.
This isn’t the first time Heartbeats’ coach, Pam Evans, has been a part of the parade. After a difficult application process in 2008, she was allowed to bring 25 jumpers. When she reapplied again the next year, she wanted to take more jumpers from all over the country. Her request was approved and she took 144 that year. This year, she will be taking 212 jumpers, 21 of which are from her Heartbeats team.
The ages of the Heartbeat jumpers range from 8-26 years old, but participants must be 12 or older to be in the parade. More than 500 people applied, but with only 212 spots, Evans had to turn more than half away. The team includes jumpers from 27 different teams from19 different states.
The participants will be jumping single rope for the full 2.8 mile route and are scheduled to be a part of the NBC performance. Evans said jumping in the parade is an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
“To step off of the parade route and have people on both sides of the street hanging out of the windows is hard to describe,” said Evans. “As you travel down the parade route, the audience loves the jumpers and constantly chants, "jump, jump, jump". For most of the jumpers (many who are National and World champions), they say that it is the best experience that they have had with the sport.”
The Heartbeats has been involved in the AAU for about 20 years and host the AAU qualifier for the Lake Erie Association every year. Recently, the younger members traveled to the 2013 AAU Junior Olympic Games in Detroit to compete. They took the bronze for their team show and Evans said she thought they did well for their first competition experience.
We look forward to watching them in the parade on Thanksgiving and good luck to all that are involved!
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