Jumping rope is the secret to staying young in Philadelphia's 40+ Double Dutch Club

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Sunday, April 23, 2023
Meet the women behind Philadelphia's 40+ Double Dutch Club
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The fountain of youth is only a hop, skip, and a jump away for women in the 40+ Double Dutch Club.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A childhood pastime of jumping rope has turned into a present-day passion for women across the country.

"I was scrolling on Facebook one day, you know, just looking for something to do," said Iesha Jackson, who is now 44 years old. "And I ran across, you know, the 40+ Double Dutch page."

The 40+ Double Dutch Club was founded in 2016 in Chicago as a means for women over a certain age to come together, workout, and relive childhood memories. It spread across the country, reaching Philadelphia in 2018 thanks to Jackson. Locally, there are also chapters in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and South Jersey.

"When I started the group, I was actually going through something really depressing," said Jackson, referring to a breakup. "And just coming and meeting a bunch of the sisters really just improved my mental health, my physical health, so, it's just been a complete turnaround for me."

What started with about five women in Philadelphia has grown to include dozens, including those who cannot physically jump rope. Other activities such as hop scotch and line dancing keep everyone engaged.

But the group is also a safe space for prayer, conversation, and camaraderie among women who can mentor and be mentored by one another.

"We all have a lot of things going on with family and work and all of that, and this is a time for us to come together," said Philadelphia co-captain Sharon Hatcher, "And just have a good time and enjoy some of the things that we did as children."

The Philadelphia chapter of the 40+ Double Dutch Club meets on Fridays at Simons Recreation Center. To learn more, visit the official website.

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