My name is Mark Mc Cabe. I have been teaching skipping for the last 7 years visiting over 850 primary schools around Ireland. My own background is like any sports mad child growing up in Ireland, playing all forms of sport available to me including Gaelic, Hurling, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. Nearly all of my free time is taken up by sport. If I’m not playing I am out coaching children in my GAA club or coaching in Cúl Camps during my Summer/Easter holidays. I have been coaching in GAA Cúl Camps since the age of 15. Since then I have developed my skills coaching a variety of ages from under 12’s to under 18’s in my local club Simonstown Gaels in Navan.

After completing my Leaving Certificate in St. Pat’s Classical School in Navan, I attended Dundalk IT where I studied and obtained an Honours Degree in Community Sports Leadership. This course allowed me to develop my natural sporting ability but also gave me a great insight into coaching across sports I was already involved in and those I was less familiar with such as badminton, athletics and basketball to name but a few. The Honours Degree course also delved into the anatomy and physiology side of sport giving me a greater understanding of the human body and how it works. My Degree really gave me the confidence to pursue a lifelong career in coaching sports to children in Ireland.

In March 2011, my former primary school Principal in St. Paul’s National School, Navan, Co. Meath introduced me to the world of skipping. I was immediately taken aback by the skill level of the children as they performed in a demonstration of the skills they had learned from their coach. On that day my passion for skipping began. I was intrigued by how the tricks were performed and executed.

Before I was introduced to skipping in schools, I knew the basics. After completing a Level 2 Skipping Course through the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) in Great Britain I could easily perform basic, partner and long rope skipping. The course gave me the thirst for more. I began to develop my skipping skills through outlets such as Youtube, online blogs and Skipping Skills DVDs by Megan Leahy. These were a great source of learning for the harder more intricate tricks that a person can accomplish when they reach an advanced stage in their skipping potential.

The potential and benefit children can get from skipping is second to none. Skipping is a terrific form of exercise that helps a child’s agility, balance, hand-eye co-ordination, and can increase speed through footwork. It teaches children about rhythm and when put into team routines it provides them with team work skills and encourages them to have confidence in their sporting ability. It is a great way to keep fit and lose weight as it is an intense cardiovascular exercise which helps to maintain good health reduce your risk of disease and it’s lots of fun!