The Kangaroo Kids Precision Jump Rope Team was formed in 1978 by Don Disney at Atholton Elementary School in Howard County, Maryland. From its beginning days as a small jump rope physical fitness club, the today’s Kangaroo Kids is an organization consisting of more than 200 athletes from all areas of Howard County. These athletes range in age from first grade through college and are assigned to specific teams according to age and skill level.
Girls and boys compete, perform, and have fun jumping rope in what has become a very competitive sport. Our athletes travel all around the world to compete against the best jumpers in judged competitions. Some teams only jump to help the American Heart Association or to perform in front of audiences, while others are created just to compete. The common denominator is the same – introducing this great sport to people locally and around the world. Jump rope – it’s not just for playgrounds anymore!
The Kangaroo Kids competition teams compete each summer at the US Amateur Jump Rope Federation National Championships and at the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics. They also have competed multiple times at the biannual FISAC World Championship.
Head Coach Gary Anderson
Coach Gary Anderson, the new Director of Coaching and Operations for the Kangaroo Kids, comes to Howard County, Maryland from North Carolina with a wealth of jump rope coaching experience and knowledge. Not only is Gary an avid rope jumper winning gold medals in single rope freestyle, 1-minute single rope speed, and 3-minute single rope speed events at the USA Jump Rope Nationals tournament, he also served as the head coach of the YMCA Super Skippers in Cary, NC from 2000 to 2016. Also in 2016, he coached the Yuedong Jump Rope Team in Shanghai, China for 6.5 months.
In addition to coaching jump rope, Coach Gary has worked for the YMCA in a variety of children’s programs for 23 years and has coached gymnastics for 10 years. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for USA Jump Rope, and is the recipient of the 2014 USA Jump Rope Neil Keller Award for outstanding contributions to the sport of jump rope, and the recipient of the 2016 USA Jump Rope President’s Service Award for outstanding service to the USA Jump Rope organization.
Coach Gary has known Coach Jim McCleary since the early 2000s and has worked with the Kangaroo Kids at camps and workshops throughout his jump rope coaching career. In his spare time, Coach Gary is an avid board gamer and runs two board game conventions every year.
The Kangaroo Kids also recognize Coach Jim McCleary, a nationally recognized physical educator who also serves as the AAU Jump Rope Chairman. His efforts over the last twenty years have contributed to the development of Jump Rope as a popular sport.