FLYING HIGH: Laura Downey skips through the Australian national championships in Carrara on the Gold Coast.
FLYING HIGH: Laura Downey skips through the Australian national championships in Carrara on the Gold Coast. contributed

Laura is jumping for joy with China preparations

IF LAURA Downey has a spring in her step, it's because her dreams are coming true.

The 14-year-old Banora Point rope jumper will compete against the best skippers from around the globe at the FISAC World Rope Skipping Championships in China in July.

"It's pretty amazing because it's been a life goal of mine,” Laura said.

When the team of Tweed and Redlands City skippers she trains with at Mount Cotton qualified at the national championships in Carrara last September, it was not certain Laura would be able to join them in Shanghai.

They qualified for the 12-14 age group, and Laura would turn 15 before the world championships, and would not be able to compete with them.

But coach Taryn Hodgson, from the Hot Shots club, found Laura a place with a team of Sydney-based skippers and they began training together in November.

"For that to happen was just amazing,” Laura's mum Michelle Downey said.

The mixed team (in the 15+ age category) will compete in six events in one day at the world championships, performing choreographed routines to music in a range of disciplines from four-person double-dutch to freestyle pairs and four-person

speed.

It is a demanding sport, but Laura said she liked the challenge, and the bonds that grew between team members.

"You make new friends who share the same goal, and to become part of team Australia is like a dream come true,” she said.

Before jetting off to China in July, Laura will take part in the Queensland and New South Wales state competitions, and nationals in Canberra in June.

"Worlds will be the pinnacle,” Downey

said.

While being selected to wear green and gold for Australia was an honour, it also came with a large financial cost for Laura and her family, from travel expenses for training and getting to China, to accommodation and uniforms.

"Skipping is not a recognised National Sporting Organisation (with the Australian Sports Commission) yet, therefore athletes don't receive any financial support,” she

said.

"However Skipping Australia is in the process of having it recognised.”

To help Laura get to the world championships,

visit gofundme.com/ jump-in-and-help-laura- get-to-china.



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