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Jacksonville to host 60th Anniversary U.S. National Baton Twirling Championships( Mon, Jul 2 00:07:AM)

 

 

 

JACKSONVILLE TO HOST NATION’S TOP TWIRLERS FOR U.S. NATIONAL BATON TWIRLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Jacksonville – If you think of baton twirlers as the majorettes of the 1950s and 60s, think again! Today’s top twirlers are dedicated athletes who train like Olympians and perform amazing feats with one, two, three and even four batons, while using dance and gymnastics to add drama and excitement to their programs.

More than 750 of the nation’s best baton twirlers will compete in the 60th Anniversary U.S. National Baton Twirling Championships, July 8-14, at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. The competition, which is sponsored by the United States Twirling Association (USTA), begins at 8 a.m. each day and is free and open to the public.
Get the complete competition schedule here.
 

During the championships, athletes will compete for national honors in individual and group events.
    July 8 – U.S. PreTrials: Athletes perform compulsories and freestyle in this demanding event which prepares them for the prestigious U.S. Trials where athletes are selected to represent the U.S. in the World Baton Twirling Championships.
    July 9 – International Cup Qualifier: Athletes vie for the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the 2019 International Cup Competition in Bordeaux, France. Athletes compete in Solo, 2-Baton, 3-Baton, Artistic Twirl, Artistic Pairs, Team and Group.
    July 10 - 2 Baton, 3 Baton and Dance Twirl: 2- and 3-Baton are highly difficult events using multiple batons which must be kept moving at all times. Dance Twirl is a beautiful but demanding event combining twirling with dance and gymnastics.
    July 11 – Strut and Solo: Strut is a beautiful event that requires precise timing in addition twirling, dance and gymnastics. Solo is the premier event in the sport of baton twirling: an exciting event using one baton which is rolled, flipped and tossed around the body and through the air at great speed.
    July 12 and 13 – Group Events: The crowd will be on its feet as groups of twirlers perform synchronized twirling and challenging exchanges.
    July 14 – Festival of the Future: A national competition for beginning and intermediate athletes.

 

The top individual competitors will be featured in the National Championships Finals Show at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 11. The nation’s top college twirlers, including Katie Coffey from Florida State University, will compete in the National Collegiate Championship at approximately 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 13. Both events are free and open to the public.

“Twirling is an aerobic sport that combines athleticism with artistry,” said USTA President Karen Cammer. “A top twirler must develop many of the same skills as athletes in other sports, such as the speed of a sprinter, the hand-eye coordination of a hockey player, the technique of a ballet dancer and the flexibility and power of a gymnast. The National Championships will feature the nation’s best baton twirlers and I know Jacksonville sports fans will enjoy seeing them in action.”

The athletes competing in the National Championships come from 27 different states, range in age from 1 to adult and include 21 male athletes. Among the national competitors are the members of Team USA, which will represent the United States in the World Baton Twirling Championships, coming up August 2-5 at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. That competition will feature nearly 200 of the world’s best baton twirlers competing for bronze, silver and gold medals in the twirling equivalent of the Olympic Games.


Twirling experts say the sport helps promote physical fitness and flexibility and helps fight childhood obesity. It also helps young people develop positive self-esteem and valuable life skills, such as goal-setting, self-discipline and time management.

The 60th Anniversary U.S. National Baton Twirling Championships mark the eighth time the National Championships have been held in Florida, but the first time they have been held in Jacksonville. Jacksonville hosted the 2011 International Cup Competition which involved twirlers from around the world.

“We are excited to hold our National Championships in Jacksonville,” Cammer said. “It is a beautiful, welcoming city that offers our athletes and their families a quality competition venue surrounded by family-friendly attractions and amenities. In addition, the support of Visit Jacksonville and the Florida Sports Foundation has been invaluable.”


For more information about Jacksonville, go to www.visitjacksonville.com. For more information about the sport of baton twirling and the United States Twirling Association, visit www.ustwirling.com.