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Apollo Theater Hosts 30th National Double Dutch League Holiday Classic

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A big holiday tournament returned to the city on Sunday.

The National Double Dutch League celebrated its 30th holiday classic, CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reported.

With incredible strides and energetic moves, their athleticism was on full display. The jump ropers gave it their all during the double dutch competition at the Apollo Theater.

One hundred and fifty athletes from across the country and around the world took part.

For the Bounce Steady Jumpers from the Bronx, it was the group's first time competing on the national stage.

"I just love the energy that we have for jumping," Carlie Dore said.

"It takes up a lot of energy, but once you push through it, you're done," Tymiah Steller said.

"It's very fun and, you know, it's something other to do then sit in your room and do nothing," Janiah Lyons added.

Organizers of the tournament said the sport of double dutch has been around in an official capacity since the 1970s, when late NYPD Officer David A. Walker founded the league.

Walker's daughter, Lauren, who is the president of the league, said her father wanted to give young people an outlet for their creativity.

"I think it's important to keep this community programming and sport recreational activity going. It not only benefits our youth, but it also benefits our families, our children and everyone in our community," Lauren Walker said.

Many of the participants told Dhillon that double dutch is a great way for them to stay connected with their community.

Some even jump for a cause.

"You can do tricks and make new friends," 12-year-old Janyla Agosto said.

Agosto is on Team Jerry, a group created in honor of her friend, Jeremiah Grant. The 8-year-old was hit by a car in Jersey City after walking home from a fundraiser for their team in 2017.

Grant's mother now coaches the group and said doing so has been therapeutic.

"Double dutch teaches them a lot of life skills, how to work together, and it builds their confidence. Just to know that my son's name, his legacy, is living on, moving on, we're carrying it. That's helping me get by day to day," Kimberly Prince-Sylla said.

The athletes all say that while the sport takes a lot of hard work and dedication to master, once you get the hang of it, it's a ton of fun.

For more information on the National Double Dutch League, please click here.

CBS2's Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.

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