Marine Park Alliance and friends kicked off the summer by launching Just for Kids, a series of children’s events that began by bringing in experts at Double Dutch to teach parents and kids alike how to kick up their heels and learn the ropes at Playground 278 in Marine Park on Saturday morning.
Elite Bklyn Jumpers began last April when a group of friends, Tawa Bakarey, 43; Benewaa Bonsu, 34; and Tashima Flowers, 46, decided they were going to revive the sport of Double Dutch and hold demonstrations every Tuesday in front of Prospect Park.
Flowers said that’s how they met Regional Park Administrator Margot Perron who saw them there, loved their energy and how they engaged with the community, and invited them to come to Marine Park.
The sounds of cheers and laughter rose from the onlookers as one-by-one, many who thought they could never do it were able to keep jumping within the intertwining ropes.
“A lot of people enjoy the sport; it’s a forgotten sport, actually,” said Flowers who also talked about the cardio benefits and exercise that goes with the community engagement and fun for all. They currently have over 500 followers on social media and their popularity is growing.
And it’s not just for kids, but all ages. According to Flowers, the oldest person to give it a try was a 78-year-old woman. “At first, she didn’t want to do it because she said, ‘I need to jog,’ and I said, ‘No, you need to jump,’” Flowers said. When the woman saw she could do it, she came back with her phone because she wanted Flowers to record it.
“To me, that’s the best time — when people say they can’t do it and then you give them the steps to go about doing it,” Flowers said. “Their confidence is built and they end up giving us a hug afterwards; it’s the highlight of my day.”
Adriano Nobre, 46, was there with his wife and child and has lived in the neighborhood for three years. He said he felt the rhythm and was able to do turns and jump on one foot in the ropes for about two minutes. “You don’t really get to do this kind of thing anymore, especially as you get older,” he said. ”You come to the park with your child, but it’s really fun and engaging for you as a parent to be doing something with your children.”
This was the first of eight planned events ending in August. Co-sponsors include NYC Parks, Tribeca Pediatrics, Fillmore Real Estate/Charles D’Alessandro and NYC Cultural Affairs.
For a full listing of Marine Park events including the Summer Playground Series, visit Marineparkalliance.org. To learn more about Elite Bklyn Jumpers, visit their website at www.elitebklynjumpers.com.