History of CAM
Cleveland Air Magic began in March 1998 as a ‘bit of fun at lunchtime’ by the then 24-year-old primary school teacher Carolyn Barker. After 4 years on a tennis scholarship with the Oklahoma City University, having graduated with honours from a science degree, Carolyn returned to Australia and began teaching at Cleveland State School. As a four-time American tennis player, Carolyn had always valued competition and the benefits of competitive sport. The club grew from a small group of primary students at Cleveland State Primary School, recognising that some of the pupils had a natural aptitude for skipping she decided to register the group as a demonstration team with the National Heart Foundation.
In October ’98 a mere six months after its birth, the newly formed team entered the Queensland Heart Foundation Championship breaking eleven records and winning overall best team. They went on to make a habit of winning this title and successfully wont it in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.
With the generous help, support and sponsorship of Jan and Ian Somers through their company ‘Somersoft’ in 1999, the Team competed in the Pan Pacific Rope Jumping Championships in Canada, their first trip abroad. The purpose of the trip was to gain overseas experience and raise the level of skipping in the Club. To the surprise of the skipping world, they won the Gold Medal for the 12–14-year Team Event!
From these humble beginnings, club numbers grew and the club continued their winning streak by winning multiple state, national and world championship titles. To date, the club holds 62 Australian records and 5 World Jump Records. Over the last 20 plus years, the club has travelled extensively to numerous competitions including the Junior Olympics, Pan Americans, British and French Opens, FISAC World championships and World Jump Rope competitions across many countries (USA, Canada, Hong Kong, China, South Africa, Portugal, Sweden, UK, South Korea, Norway, Belgium and France). To raise funds to travel to these countries, the club has performed four original skipping musicals written and directed by Carolyn Barker (Skipperella, Snow White and The Seven Skippers, Skipper of Aus and Don’t Skip Christmas). This enabled all members of the club to showcase their skills in a fun, theatrical atmosphere.
Some of the highlights from these competitions include; four overall FISAC open individual world champions, (Jake Eve, Luke Boon, Jackie Robba and Emily Edmunds); Four Junior individual FISAC world champions, (Maddy Barker, Lilly Barker, Luke Boon and Ben Cooper) and; two Open individual World Jump Rope Champions, (Jake Eve and Ben Cooper). Additionally, the club has eight overall junior FISAC team world champions, (2004 – 2014) across female and mixed divisions. Cleveland Air Magic’s open mixed team have to date been the most successful team in the word. These titles include 6 back-to-back FISAC world titles and four World Jump Rope titles. Members of this team over the years include, Luke Boon, Jake Eve, Lilly Barker, Ben Cooper, Jackie Robba, Emily Edmunds, Aimee Devlin, Kirstin Morris, Bonnie Somers, Cameron Buckby, Courtney Rixon, Emma Pinto and Tamison Lees. Other successes include 5 Australia Day sports awards, Two Blue’s Griffith University awards and two QUT scholarship awards and Redlands Coast Young Legends Award.
Due to this success, the skippers have been on numerous television shows and news bulletins including, SBS The Feed, My 24, Sidelines, The Today Show, The Footy Show and Australia’s Got Talent just to name a few as well as numerous magazines, commercials, radio shows and newspapers. In 2021 the club competed in the inaugural IJRU virtual world championships with much success. 2022 saw the club travel to Darwin to compete in the Australian Rope Skipping championships. The club is continuing to prosper and grow and our senior skippers are currently training towards competing at the IJRU World Championship series in Colorado Springs in 2023.