On April 20th 60 teams of double dutch jumpers ages 8-18 competed at the Sorrentino Recreation Center in Rockaway Queens. Teams traveled as far as Albany to participate in the day’s event. The competition was organized by director/ coordinator Stanley Brown. Brown has been involved in the program since 1980 and is the coach and founder of ‘Stan Brown’s Pepper Steppers’
Keisha Heard, an original Pepper Stepper from the 1981 team was on site to give the jumpers tips and advice.
‘Double Dutch is to me was gymnastics is to Gabbie Douglas!’ said Heard. Her dedication to the sport as a young woman is the source of many fond memories.
The Rockaway jumpers practice at the Sorrentino Center after school 3 days a week for 2 hours a day. Teams that competed at the day’s event will go on in two weeks to compete in the 33rd Annual World competition on May 4th 2013 at the Law Enforcement high school in Jamaica Queens. In order to move ahead in the competition the jumpers must have a total score higher than the previous years competition 5th place contenders. The May 4th event is located at 116-25 Guy R Brewer Blvd Queens, NY 11434 and is free and open to the public, it starts at 10AM.
Photos and text by Jena Cumbo