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Getting to know USTA Professional member Ann Durkin( Thu, Aug 13 00:08:AM)

Getting to know USTA Professional member Ann Durkin

“Getting to know you……… getting to know all about you.”

Ann Durkin is a long-standing twirling enthusiast and a participant in both USTA and NBTA. We recently sat down with Ann and got some insight on her passion for baton twirling. Here is what she had to say.

Inside Loop: As a twirling enthusiast involved with NBTA, what has USTA done “right” in welcoming you into our association and what could we do better for others wishing to join us?

Ann: I have always been welcomed by our local USTA coaches and judges. They have helped me learn about USTA so that I could help prepare my students. The resources on the USTA website are extremely helpful in learning.

If there is anything that could be better, I would suggest offering a "first year" membership for professionals at a reduced rate so that they might have a better understanding of just how much is available to them with the membership. The only frustrating thing for me as someone who did not compete in USTA is the CAS system. I have struggled to learn and move my students through it and some of this is due to inconsistencies in judging. We have had one judge tell and show us one way to do something and another tell us the opposite. This has made it difficult, but not impossible.
Inside Loop: How have you and your athletes been able to handle the pandemic?
Ann: We made every effort to adjust as quickly as possible. I continued to coach virtually until it became safe enough to meet in person. We have moved from a gym to outside and limit lesson sizes to two. Several of my students participated in the virtual CAS evaluations and were successful in passing the levels they were working on. I hope you will continue to provide this virtual opportunity, as I believe more of my students will participate. We are planning a driveway recital in a few weeks accompanied by blankets for families (social distanced) and a picnic. I am working to find ways in which we can perform as competitions are very uncertain now.
Inside Loop: Tell us three things that most people would never know about you!
Ann: My mother made all of my costumes when I was competing.
I have been an elementary school teacher since 1984.
I began coaching in 1976, and there have been only two years since that time that I have not actively coached students, and that was due to the fact that I had a job that had me on the road about 20 days of the month.
Thanks, Ann, for the chat and best wishes for continued success!