ATLANTIC CITY — As the reopening of Brown’s Park neared, property manager Amina Parker-Williams was at a planning meeting with some of her tenants, who were sharing what they’d like to see in the park.
“One of my residents at School House — she gave the suggestion we could do double Dutch because that’s what we used to do back in the day,” said Parker-Williams, who manages the School House, Disston and Liberty apartments.
Earlier, teen mentor group Princess Inc. co-founders Indra Lyn Owens and Automne Bennett had been talking about how they’d like to hold their own double Dutch jump rope event.
When the woman spoke, it clicked.
As Owens put it: “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
Now, the three women, with the help of Parker-Williams’ assistant Shanease Keyes and sponsors, plan to host the first Let’s Jump Double Dutch event at the new Sgt. Harold R. Brown Community Park on Saturday.
Recently, Princess Inc. took to social media to post a video about the event.
“We’re clicks away from going viral,” said Owens. “Within a day, we already had 1,000 views (on Facebook). Now I just checked it this morning, we’re at 11,700 views.”
Since the video, she said the event has continued to grow with people from New York City and even Atlanta reaching out to them to participate. Parker-Williams said her aunt from Baltimore will be making the trip up to jump.
“Everyone we talk to is just excited about it, even the fellas,” Parker-Williams said with a laugh.
Parker-Williams said the event is for the entire community, young and old, and hopes it will kick off more positive events in the park.
“With this event, it doesn’t matter whether you’re from School House or Uptown — everyone is excited,” she said. “I think this is one of those events that’s going to bring everyone together as a whole.”
Parker-Williams said many of the residents have remarked about bringing their daughters out and have been practicing their double Dutch in the meantime. Even the mail carrier who comes to her office, she said, is planning to bring her daughter to the park.
To the younger generation, Parker-Williams said the event is something new, as some don’t jump Double Dutch as much as previous generations.
Owens said she was amazed that in talking to some of the younger girls, they didn’t know it was called Double Dutch and has been teaching them the history of the sport.
“One of the hopes we also have is we want to start a team in this area,” she said.
Owens said the event will include 21 different challenges in speed and duration for different age groups. They will also give out prizes.
“I hope that this thing catches fire,” said Owens, who is offering pop-up Double Dutch event consultations through Princess Inc. now. “We know that there are so many other communities missing this; they’re missing the camaraderie and structured events where they can have a good time and young girls can be active.”