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Learning the ropes: UConn Club Jump Rope team heading to National Championships

24 team members will compete on the national stage in events like speed, freestyle tricks and double Dutch.

STORRS, Conn. — The UConn Men's Basketball team isn't the only team with hopes of winning a national title. 

The UConn Club Jump Rope team is heading to the National Jump Rope Championships at Ball State University in Indiana.

It's a new club that is certainly gaining support and members. 

It takes learning the ropes to a whole new level. 

"It’s so different from any sport or any different exercise I’ve ever done in my whole life," said Maggie Singman, a senior jump rope team member. "It's really hard! I thought I was in decent shape when I started to jump rope but it takes a really different type of endurance."

The team was created just this fall by Ashiespal Bharara and James Ballesteros, who have jumped together since they were kids. 

Now they're showing the ropes to their teammates, taking a team of mostly beginners to become national contenders. 

"It’s really cool to use other peoples skill sets to enhance their jump rope ability," said Bharara.

"It’s really rewarding. I love teaching and love teaching jump rope,' said Ballesteros. 

24 team members will compete on the national stage in events like speed, freestyle tricks and double Dutch. 

"I think we’ve all surprised ourselves in a lot of ways. Not a lot of us have experience, but when we focus on a trick and we practice and the day after that we finally get it, it’s like the best feeling in the world," said team member Audrey Bush. 

With a lot of cardio training, a lot of patience, and an even bigger love for the sport, the team is looking to keep improving each day, and of course skip their way to that big trophy.  

"I think they’re going to rip it up. I think it’s going to be crazy, we’re bringing a good team that’s really stacked in speed, some people are good at freestyle and double Dutch, so I think for the first year we had a really, really good team and I’m excited," said Bharara. 

The team is also collecting donations to help them get to the national championship this weekend.

Doug Stewart is the Senior Digital Content Producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

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