Usta News

Getting to know USTA Professional members Jillian Gibson and Scottie Hagen( Tue, May 14 00:05:AM)




Getting to know USTA Professional members Scottie Hagen and Jillian Gibson

"Getting to know you...getting to know all about you."
Each month, INSIDE LOOP features USTA Professional members in an “up close and personal” way that helps us get to know them. This month, we sat down with Professional members, Scottie Hagen, TX, and Jillian Gibson, WA. Here’s what they had to say:
What inspired you to become a USTA Professional?
Scottie: For as long as I can remember, I always planned on becoming a judge after my twirling career was over. What inspired me the most was seeing how much fun the judges have at competitions, both inside and outside the gym. I’ve enjoyed judging the past few years and look forward to attending more competitions.
Jillian: I was and continually am inspired to be a USTA Professional by my coach, Kathy Forsythe. Kathy instilled in me from a young age the desire to give back to the younger generation and to grow our amazingly unique sport. I have had the privilege and honor to learn under Kathy and now work beside her, in all facets of twirling. What I have gained from her is much more than just advice and knowledge of wirling however. She has taught me how to be a strong, independent thinker and to stand up for what I believe in! Thank you Kathy for being a mentor, and more importantly, a friend.
How do you think USTA and baton twirling could become “mainstream” in our society?
Scottie: This is a difficult question! I’m not sure I can offer any ideas someone else hasn’t already thought of trying. I think promoting USTA and baton twirling to mainstream status is going to require a combination of several different factors including more coaches and programs throughout the nation and an ongoing social media campaign to increase visibility of the sport. I wish I could offer an easy solution, but in the end it comes down to the continued support and participation of former twirlers by teaching the younger generations.
Jillian: Baton twirling has a great opportunity right now with social media to take the mainstream by storm! We have seen first hand how World Baton Twirling Day has taken off in the past couple years. I think a huge way to increase our reach is by having former twirlers continue to participate in twirling in all capacities! Coaching a recreational class of twirlers can change a child’s life by introducing them to a healthy, exciting activity. Judging is also a great way to share your knowledge and love of the sport. If more people stay involved, we will grow the knowledge and understanding of our sport that is still missing amongst the public.
What are three things that most folks in baton twirling don’t know about you?
1. I’m an officer for the Texas House of Representatives.
2. I have a Master’s degree in International Studies.
3. I enjoy baking and elaborately decorating sugar cookies for my family and friends.
1. I began twirling at age nine, after receiving recreational lessons and a baton as a birthday present!
2. I am obsessed with all things sports related and currently work for the Seattle Sounders FC.
3. I love to travel the world and meet new people. This was one of the major reasons I enjoyed competing at the international level and am pursing my Master Judge certification.