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Getting to know USTA Professional member Jen Marcus Schwartz( Fri, Jan 10 00:01:AM)

Getting to know USTA Professional member Jen Marcus Schwartz

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

In continuing our popular “Getting to Know You” feature, we are excited to share with you an interview with USTA Professional member Jen Marcus Schwartz from Florida. Here’s what Jen shares regarding her participation as an accomplished athlete and now a USTA Professional.

1. What can USTA do to encourage athletes to enter the professional ranks after their competition days are over?

Jen: USTA has such a strong network of professionals who are volunteers and enthusiasts passionate about the growth of

baton twirling. When I retired from the competitive world, I wanted to stay involved to help continue the growth and be part of the future of the sport I love. I also have nieces who twirl (and maybe even my daughter might want to) and I want them to be part of a strong organization and sport that supports their athletic goals and provides enriching opportunities, as it did mine.
     One of the ways USTA can encourage athletes to stay involved past the competition floor is to cultivate opportunities for young professionals to be involved in USTA. It would be wonderful if there were spaces on different national committees or state/regional boards reserved for these young professionals as they will have fresh and relevant ideas having just come from being an athlete. A way to recruit this group and help them feel valued is by having established professionals reach out personally to share about the different opportunities there are to be involved with the organization.

2. What do you think the culture of baton twirling will look in ten years?
Jen: I am extremely excited for the development of the IBTF. I never believed in my lifetime that two established organizations would work together for the advancement for baton twirling, and while there is a long way to go...I see progress!
     In ten years I would love for "What organization do you twirl for?" to be a distant question from the past because all twirlers are just twirlers around the world and compete together under the IBTF. I want baton twirling programs to be prevalent in elementary schools and dance/baton schools. I want to see opportunities for baton twirling groups to perform more frequently in parades and at sporting events (because not everyone will want to be an elite athlete). I want baton
twirling to be offered as a sport in the Summer 2028 Olympics and finally get the world recognition it has deserved for so long. And while baton twirling is a subjective sport, I believe with continued development of judging certification and trainings, we can create an even more uniformed approach to judging.
     To accomplish this vision, USTA professionals must set an example for the rest of the international twirling community by working together, supporting new and evolving rules (even if they are different from what we are used to), and volunteer our time however we can to support the
IBTF through USTA.
3. What are three things the world of baton twirling does not know about you?
Jen: 1. I have a degree in public relations and a master's in sports administration and managed an athletic apparel store while still competing.
2. I had a small cookie company at one point and now still love to bake and create.
3. I have run two 1/2 marathons!