Comet Skippers share love for sport worldwide
Calista Busch | Staff Writer
The Comet Skippers are swinging into action around the globe.
Through One World One Rope, an organization that helps spread jump rope worldwide, several members of the Comet Skippers have been able to travel around the globe to attend and host workshops that teach jump rope.
Sophomore Michelle Crispin said the organization has opened up many opportunities around the world for hosting and attending workshops. Crispin said every summer some members of the team travel to Germany to host a workshop, as well as staff workshops in different states.
From February 22 to 26, six high school members of the Comet Skippers traveled to Bermuda. Junior Kevin Morrissey said the team has used its connection to a jump rope team based in Bermuda, the Bermie Bouncers, to help staff a workshop for the past seven years.
“We traveled to Bermuda to teach several workshops and camps for the jump rope teams and schools in the country of Bermuda,” Morrissey said. “We taught these children skills and showed them that jump rope is a really cool and fun sport.”
The Skippers’ season is broken into sections. Crispin said in the fall, they attend workshops to learn new skills and build a routine for competition season. This takes place in the spring, culminating in the World Jump Rope Championship in July.
“Throughout the year, we have different workshops and competitions that prepare us, make our skills better and all that builds up to World’s,” Crispin said.
Junior Hailey Carroll said that their competition season has changed this year as the team joined USA Jump Rope, a national competitive organization they had not been a part of in several years.
“We’ve been trying different competitions this year than we normally do,” Carroll said. “Normally we go to the same competitions all together as a group (but) this year we’re branching out into another organization.”
The first competition of the season was the Michigan Invitational, a competition in the USA Jump Rope organization. Carroll said that while the team did well, there was a lack of competition in the older age groups.
“When we went to Michigan, our only competition was other groups in our own team,” Carroll said. “I only did one freestyle event, which could have gone better, (but) other groups did very well in the competition.”
Carroll said these new competitions provide a change in the way the team is preparing for World’s.
“We’re trying things where our older kids don’t have to go to our regional competitions which tend to be on the easier side,” Carroll said. “We’re trying to do different competitions this year to better prepare for World’s. The older kids and the younger kids are more separated as to which competition they go to, depending on skill level.”
Morrissey said that while the spring season is competition-driven, the program is more focused on spreading the sport through travel and workshops.
“It’s more (about) teaching others than competitions,” Morrissey said. “A big part of our season is camps. We go different places where we teach other jumpers or we are taught ourselves. Our goal is to show people what jump rope really is. To show the world that jump rope is as much of a sport as football, basketball, baseball. There are teams all around the world. A goal is to spread the sport and help create teams and organizations.”
Crispin said One World One Rope has a focus of showing people the sport with the hopes of it one day becoming globally recognized.
“Eventually, we want to make it an Olympic sport, but now we’re in the process of exposing it to people,” Crispin said. “Every year we compete worldwide, so it would be exciting if we could make it an Olympic sport.”
The team also hosts workshops in Mason to encourage younger students to pick up the sport. Crispin said in December they host Jump With the Stars, an event that brings people from around the world.
“It’s a huge workshop; I think one of the biggest workshops in the world,” Crispin said. “We have tons of people fly in. We’ve had the Japanese, we’ve had the French (and) a bunch of teams travel together.”
Morrissey said he has been doing jump rope for nine years, and been on the Comet Skippers for six. Throughout this, he said he has traveled around the globe and gotten to see a lot of the jump rope community.
“The jump rope community is so friendly and never have I felt uncomfortable to meet someone from another country,” Morrissey said. “I have friends all across the world. It provides a lot of great opportunities and one of those is the friendships that I’ve made.”