ROXBURY, NJ - A Roxbury woman will represent North America in “global initiatives” designed to promote the sport of fistball.
The woman, Kim Kruse, was elected to a 4-year term on the International Fistball Association (IFA), the governing body for the sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Kruse is a member of the Swim and Sport Club on Emmans Road in Roxbury. Kruse is a past sports director for the Swim and Sport Club and also current treasurer of the United States Fistball Association (USFA).
“There are many global initiatives taking place with many new countries taking up the sport,” she said. “I want to make sure that the United States and North America have solid exposure.” Kruse said the The USFA has been working extensively with elementary and high school athletic directors to introduce fistball to young players. “Working with educators, we now have a curriculum developed to make school-based instruction easy for Physical Education teachers,” she said. “We have discovered that many teachers want to use fistball to provide a wide variety of sports to students. The new curriculum makes it practical.”
The U18 Fistball World Championships took place in Roxbury, last year, at Horseshoe Lake Park in Succasunna. Kruse said that event engendered an increase in interest by young people.
“That certainly helps with the next goal: Binging highly competitive men and women teams to the 2020 U18 World Championships being held in Austria,” she said. Kruse is urging young people to try the sport, which is similar to volleyball.
“It’s a great sport to pick up, easy to learn, but can be a challenge to master,” she said. “I’ve been playing fistball since the mid-1970s, from the time I could start hitting the ball. Both of my parents played and my father for several decades into his 60s. It really is a timeless sport that everyone can enjoy.”
Kruse said school athletic directors and physical education teachers can contact the USFA for a copy of the curriculum and some equipment to start school-based programs. Any athletes interested can contact the clubs nearest them for practice times and locations.
“I was honored to be nominated by USFA President Bob Feid and I will represent North America to the best of my abilities,” Kruse said. “Fistball has been played since 220 AD and it’s fun to see it growing again.”