|Michael W. Fry - Founder
Jump rope has been a central focus in Mike's life from the time he picked up his first rope at age 10. Each ensuing year has fed his desire not just to excel, but to share the sport with others.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1986, Mike attended Revere High School in Richfield, Ohio, and Kent State University and Oberlin College, graduating from Oberlin in 2009 with a BA in psychology.
At age 11, Mike became a member of the Heartbeats Jump Rope Team; and was soon competing in regional and national events, including USA Jump Rope Nationals and AAU Junior Olympics.
In October, 2001, Mike qualified to represent Team USA at the World Championships in Seoul, South Korea hosted by Federation Internationale de Saut a la Corde (FISAC). Since then, he has qualified to compete in every sanctioned World Championship, including those held in Belgium, Australia, Canada and South Africa. He has held the role of Team USA co-captain during the past two competitions, and earned two gold medals and an overall silver at the 2004 World Championships.
Mike has been a member of the USA Jump Rope All Star Team since 2005. In 2008, he was part of a team that helped develop jump rope in Cyprus.
Like most others involved in the sport, Mike has had the dream of making jump rope an Olympic sport. It combines the athleticism and speed of track with the skill and grace of gymnastics. What better sport for the twenty-first century?
Noting the success of his friend Maarten Goedeme in building a program in South Africa, Mike began planning a development program for East Africa or South America. Since his sister Elizabeth (also an Oberlin grad) had taught in a small community school in Northern Tanzania in 2005, Tanzania and Kenya became natural choices for his first project.
He undertook a pilot program in those countries in January, 2009, which was met with great enthusiasm. In May, 2009, he was awarded a $28,000.00 "Creativity & Leadership: Entrepreneurship at Oberlin" Fellowship, part of the Northeast Ohio Collegiate Entrepreneurship Program (NEOCEP), a Kauffman Campuses (SM) Initiative funded by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to carry out his program.
Mike's ultimate aim: to provide new opportunities for all participants to experience success, develop healthy lifestyles, increase social ties, and take on roles of leadership and responsibility within their communities through mastery of the sport of jump rope.