By: Kylie Conner
Three times a week, 2 hours a practice and weekend competitions. That’s the life of a competitive baton twirler. They practice their tricks and routines until they are blue in the face all so that they might have a chance at making it to International Cup or the World Championships. With all of these practices on their plates already baton becoming an Olympic sport could really up the anti of their hopes and dreams.
“You don’t just jump in and become an Olympic sport, but baton has two very large world organizations and I think that they are both very successful.” Said Jennifer Olsen, Group Representative for Ontario Baton Twirling Association (OBTA).
The World Baton Twirling Championships and International Cup are held on alternating years in different host cities around the world. These competitions give athletes a goal to work toward throughout the year. Some athletes even work on perfecting their routines for the two years leading up to Worlds (the higher level competition).
Two young girls from Nationals Baton Corp in Whitby, Ontario said that their goals right now are to work on their tricks and routines so that they can one day make it to International Cup. If baton were to become an Olympic sport they said “We would definitely be interested and work harder on our tricks.”
If you take a trip down to the states baton has a lot bigger of a presence than it does in Canada. The costumes are full of rhinestones, the classic “baton moms” are cheering up in the bleachers and there are a lot more opportunities for competing.
Pauline McKnight a mom of two twirlers in Nationals Baton Corp said that she hopes “They [her kids] could maybe get a scholarship in the U.S [for school] because Canada doesn’t really offer them.”
Since baton is an ever-changing sport it is possible that one day it could become a certified Olympic sport. Until then all the hopeful athletes can do is wait to see what the future holds.
In the meantime Olsen said “There’s lots of opportunities for kids in different organizations all around the world and I think that baton isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I think if anything baton will just continue to get stronger.”
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