Downham Market baton twirlers national champions for second year

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Over the Easter weekend Marquettes Baton Twirlers from Downham successfully defended their 2015 title win at the British Baton Twirling Sports Association (BBTSA) National Championships held at the K2 Arena in Crawley.

The team entered team, duo and individual sections across the three day event, scooping the national title in Senior Twirl Challenge Team.

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This consisted of the team entering four twirling disciplines and combining their scores to win the section; a repeat of last year’s title win.

Megan Davies achieved second highest score in Solo Twirl, where the athlete must present their routine with minimal travelling.

The judges’ focus is on baton twirling technique, primarily and body posture secondary, of each athlete.

Charlotte Davies achieved highest score in Two Baton.The criteria is much the same as Solo Twirl however the athlete competes with two continuously twirling batons.

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These must show a cross section of twirling of same and alternate directions as well as twirling on different patterns (vertical and horizontal).

Elissa Knott achieved highest score in Fancy Strut.

This routine must be performed in a set floor pattern, without repetition or retracing of steps.

Dance work is largely put to test here with many performed under a tossed aerial.

Yazmyn Evans and Freya Hewitt achieved highest score in Duo. The criteria is much the same as Solo Twirl however there are two athletes in front of the judges and include baton exchanges and partner rolls.

Other sections competed in were: Dance Twirl where routines are mainly focused on the dance skill of the athlete; and Poise & Personality in intense 40-second routines which are dance and gymnastic heavy where the baton is only to be used as a prop.

The team as a whole competed very well with many members making the semi-finals of most of the 47 sections entered and seven members of the team reaching the finals of their section making them nationally ranked athletes.

Results: Charlotte Davies & Elissa Knott - Beginner Junior Duo 9th; Yazmyn Evans & Freya Hewitt - Novice Senior Duo 12th; Scarlette Burton - Beginner Juvenile 1 Solo Twirl 12th; Scarlette Burton - Beginner Juvenile 1 Two Baton 9th; Freya Hewitt - Novice Senior Poise & Personality 11th; Megan Davies - Novice Senior Poise & Personality 12th; Jasmine Garrod - Novice Senior Poise & Personality 13th; Yazmyn Evans - Novice Senior Poise & Personality 14th; Yazmyn Evans - Novice Senior Two Baton 11th.

This year’s preliminary and semi-final results are a huge leap-up from 2015’s scores.

Charlotte Cornish, Marquettes & BBTSA coach, said: “Our competition team are dedicated and hard working. They have been training since September, even whilst at Fury basketball home games.

“They performed beyond my expectations. I feel we do amazingly well to keep up with the big clubs.

“I thank the team we took for their dedication over the weekend: Kayleigh Porter, Scarlette Burton, Mia Pilkington, Grace Meadows-Flint, Charlotte Davies, Elissa Knott, Freya Hewitt, Yazmyn Evans, Jasmine Garrod and Megan Davies. These young ladies have represented Downham Market with a great sporting attitude and aptitude.

“We haven’t been able to afford any new uniforms for at least five years.”

Anyone or any local businesses who would like to help fundraise or sponsor, get in touch via Facebook, email marquettes twirlers@yahoo.co.uk or call 01366 377 009. Check out the website www.marquettes.webs.com

Trophies will be displayed at Marquettes’ coffee morning during Downham festival week (Tuesday, May 31 at the town hall from 10am).