MANILA – Saying health and fitness contribute to a child’s academic performance, MILO Philippines and partner sports organization Philippine Jump Rope Association (PJRA) on Wednesday said it will distribute over 600 jump ropes to the Department of Education (DepEd).

The pilot run of the initiative is in line with MILO and PJRA’s commitment to support the DepEd’s blended learning program for the new academic year that formally kicked off on Monday.

In a ceremonial turnover that was livestreamed on the DepEd Facebook page, MILO Sports Manager Lester P. Castillo and PJRA President Noel Agra handed out the first 200 jump ropes to Mandaluyong Elementary School (MES), represented by DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali and MES Principal Elvie Canilao.

The turnover of the equipment is an expansion of MILO’s online sports program, the MILO Home Court campaign that aims to empower parents to continue their kids’ champion journeys at home.

The tripartite partnership between MILO, PJRA and DepEd adds another dimension to MILO Home Court’s thrust by providing Physical Education teachers with instructional knowledge on the fundamentals of jump rope – it being a viable and accessible sport for kids to get active even while indoors.

“MILO believes that active children are better learners. We recognize that health and fitness contribute to a child’s academic performance. This partnership with DepEd and the PJRA will equip our teachers with the tools and materials to help the nation’s youth espouse an active and healthy lifestyle,” Castilo said. “Through our established linkages with sports experts, MILO will lend its instructional materials developed in tandem with the PJRA so that kids can engage in sports and discover their love for jump rope.”

The first batch of jump ropes will be given to the Grade Six students of MES while PJRA will provide PE faculty members the foundational training for teaching jump rope to students. Lessons on the sport will be integrated to the Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH) curriculum.

“The Department of Education welcomes the support of MILO and PJRA in empowering our teachers and students with the resources that will augment our blended learning program,” Umali said. “It is important that we optimize the expertise of our partners to be able to enrich our students’ learning experience, especially now that we have opened our academic year.”

Video lessons and exercises from MILO and PJRA will be available on the DepEd Learning COMMONS, the online module repository for students and teachers, as well as on the MILO YouTube channel, along with other instructional videos from the MILO Sports Clinics Online.

The pilot run of the initiative is slated to run from October to December, including a mini virtual interschool competition among the three schools who will be receiving the first batch of jump ropes.

In the succeeding months, the program is geared for a bigger roll out to reach more children nationwide.

“We are glad to be of service to the education sector, especially to the teachers who are vital in nurturing the youth in today’s new learning system,” Agra said. “By giving our teachers the proper training, kids will be introduced to a sport that can be a fun recreational activity, and at the same time, a viable competitive discipline.”

With PJRA’s involvement with MILO and DepEd, the newly-established organization aims to promote jump rope as a competitive sport.

In the long run, PJRA will pursue grassroots sports initiatives targeted at a national level, aiming to include the sport in competitions such as Palarong Pambansa. PJRA is a member of the International Jump Rope Federation.

“This partnership is an initial step for us and MILO to introduce the sport to more children and kick start their athletic aspirations,” Agra added. (PR)