Program Report: Bouncing Bulldogs

Bouncing bulldogs 1 web“Durham is the place to be. Shake someone’s hand and say, ‘Durham is the place to be!’ I know that’s right. Shake someone’s hand and say, ‘I know that’s right!’  There’s no bad kids in Durham County! Shake someone’s hand and say, ‘There’s no bad kids in Durham County!’”  

– Ray N. Frederick Jr, Director and Founder, Bouncing Bulldogs

Like sharing peace at church on Sunday, we started the Bouncing Bulldogs program this past week with exaltation to Durham and shaking hands with our neighbors. Our preacher was the charismatic and innovative founder of the church of jump rope, a.k.a. the Bouncing Bulldogs, Ray N. Frederick Jr.Bouncing bulldogs 2 web

Rotary member, Danielle Kaspar, introduced Coach Frederick and the team, and highlighted some of their biggest achievements: seven-time Grand National Champions, winning for the sixth straight year this past June in Braga, Portugal; they’ve been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric; and, they’ve taught and performed all over the U.S. and in several countries including Australia, China, Israel, and South Africa, just to name a few.

Coach Frederick himself has been the recipient of numerous awards including the highest award for service in North Carolina, The Long Leaf Pine Award.

Those of us who have lived in the triangle for a while, have likely witnessed the incredible acrobatics of the rope skipping demonstration team at halftime of a UNC or Duke basketball game, at a corporate event, or as part of an outreach program at a public school. While the physical accomplishments of the team members, ranging in age from 5 to 29 years, are astounding, the mission to help all children grow physically, as well as emotionally and socially is equally impressive.

Bouncing Bulldogs 3 webTheir mission was on full display in the Marriott ballroom on Monday. After a high energy performance (see video), Coach Frederick brought up members of his team to help present the non-profit’s achievements, and to answer questions from our members.

A young team member named Anna not only presented their own mission statement but impressed us with her knowledge of the Rotary and our mission. Coach Frederick went on to explain the similarities between the Bouncing Bulldogs, Rotary and the Durham community in regards to the three Es. Environment – we encourage a positive environment for all. Education – we prioritize education. Education gives kids power and we can help them use it in the right way. Experience – it doesn’t matter where kids are from, it matters where they end up. We use our experience to nurture all kids.

When asked by a Rotary member how he selects his team, he was succinct. A positive attitude is the most important, then they have to be self-motivated, maintain a B average in school and talent is the last factor in his selection process.

As a non-profit, Bouncing Bulldogs has never had a payroll and has never been in debt. They survive off of the donations of others, and have been doing so for 27 years. This year marks an important milestone as they raise funds for their first dedicated jump rope gym. If you care to contribute to their effort, you can do so here.

Submitted by Kate Elia who also shot and edited the Bouncing Bulldogs video below.  

Editors note: At the end you will see a picture link to another video that was shot by Jen Noble.  My only contribution was to load them to my Vimeo account and embed in the post. – Jay

Bouncing Bulldogs – Large



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