LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Most people kick a hacky sack around to kill time. For Purdue student Aaron Clevenger, the bead-filled bag is more than a game.
“Footbag is a sport. Hacky sack is more of a kind of a game that people play. Footbag is more competetive,” says Clevenger.
Footbag is played by maintaing control of the bag with your feet while performing tricks. In competitions judges score participants by the quality of their tricks, similar to figure skating.
“It is kind of hard on the body. There’s a lot of impact on the joints. On your ankles, your knees and your hips,” says the Washington (state) native.
He was hooked to the sport after attending the footbag world championships in 2002.
“It was inspiring to me. I kind of fell in love with it and I’ve been doing it ever since,” says the footbag fanatic.
He worked on his craft and eventually competed in the world championships on several occasions. The sport has allowed him to travel to San Francisco, Disney World, Poland and Germany for competitions.
“I still enjoy the aspect of going to competitions and kicking and competing and trying to add to the sport. And to give back to the sport,” says Clevenger.
In addition to playing, he makes his own bags. Clevenger is also a certified instructor, which he earned by taking a course offered by Scott Davidson, a former world champion.
It was a neat thing. It was a lot of stuff that I had already known after reaching a competitive level,” says Clevenger.
His hope is that footbag can become a mainstream sport. He has driven all the way to Chicago, just to play with friends.
“It hasn’t really become a recognized sport, unfortunately. Personally, I think it should be in the Olympics,” says Clevenger with a grin on his face.