Some of Marquettes Baton Twirlers’ competitors from their lockdown championships. Top, from left: Lillian Cornish-Scott, Nancy Burton, Sofia Clarke. Middle: Ayla Chandler, Tanisha Read, Daisy Harrod. Bottom: Freya Corley, Scarlette Burton, Anne-Marie O’Shea-Barnes.

BATON TWIRLING: Lockdown has not prevented Marquettes Baton Twirlers from putting on the style.

The Downham Market-based group have been busy practicing and improving to excel at competition. 

They have spent months practicing in their own homes and coaches have had to be innovative with lesson plans and figuring out what their members can and cannot do in the confines of their bedrooms and living rooms. 

It paid off in style at the end of last month at the British Baton Twirling Sports Association Virtual Golden Extravaganza. 

The virtual competition was held by the governing body over Zoom and live streamed on YouTube.

The Marquettes team won 23 placings, including first positions for Daisy Harrod and Scarlette Burton. 

The team had earlier performed extremely well at the British Baton Twirling Sports Association Virtual National Championships, also through Zoom, in which there was first places for Ayla Chandler and Anne-Marie O’Shea-Barnes. 

British Baton Twirling Sports Association Virtual Golden Extravaganza

Tiny Tots (age 4-7): Lillian Cornish-Scott, 4th basic strut, 6th vertical contact; Nancy Burton, 2nd basic strut, 3rd vertical contact, 3rd creative choreography and 5th poise.

Juvenile Beginners (age 8-11): Sofia Clarke, 3rd poise, 5th vertical contact, 7th basic strut; Ayla Chandler, 7th vertical contact.

Junior Beginners (age 12-15): Anne-Marie O’Shea-Barnes, 2nd basic strut, 3rd vertical contact, 3rd poise; Freya Corley, 6th basic strut; Daisy Harrod, 1st vertical contact (her first golden extravaganza title), 5th basic strut; Tanisha Read, 4th basic strut, 5th vertical contact.

Junior Intermediate: Scarlette Burton, 1st basic strut, 1st roll section, 1st horizontal contact, 3rd poise, 3rd creative choreography. 

British Baton Twirling Sports Association Virtual National Championships – Tiny Tots: Lillian Cornish-Scott, 6th two-baton; Nancy Burton, 4th two-baton, 7th poise.

Juvenile Pre-Beginner: Ayla Chandler, 1st solo twirl, 4th poise.

Junior Beginner: Anne-Marie O’Shea-Barnes, 1st two-baton, 3rd solo twirl, 3rd poise:

Junior Intermediate: Scarlette Burton, 2nd poise, 3rd two-baton, 3rd Solo twirl. 

Club coach Charlotte Cornish said: “We are immensely proud of our club athletes for doing their absolute best, given the unusual circumstance we have found ourselves in.

“It has been great to continue to support with training and trying to keep teammates positive during the pandemic. 

“Our sport has had to adapt to lockdown life and we are grateful to those organising the competitions to keep spirits up and athletes active.

“We also recognise the parents who have let their children practice in the house, not minding the cartwheels and baton flips performed with low ceiling conditions and to learn to become professional dance videographers using Zoom. Thank you so much!”

The Twirlers are looking forward to train together again and to celebrate the successes they have enjoyed through lockdown.

The final lockdown competition is the BBTSA Spring Cup next month.

April 10 is the official World Baton Twirling Day and club members will be learn a routine alongside other twirlers from around the globe. They will perform and record it to be shared on social media. 

Cornish added: “This will be the second year of learning this special routine virtually.

“When we do get back to training, we will be opening our club up to new members. Anyone over the age of five who wants to try baton twirling should get in touch via our Facebook page – just search Marquettes Baton Twirlers.