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Oshawa Camaros Baton Club wins 15 medals at International Cup
September 15th 2015
OSHAWA The Oshawa Camaros Baton Club enjoyed a successful season this year capped by winning 15 medals at the World Baton Twirling Federation International Cup championships in Abbotsford B.C.
The competition included 15 countries with more than 550 athletes including 11 from the Camaros and 104 representing Canada all told. Canada earned a total of 78 medals.
Gold-medal winners from the Camaros were Chantal Sutton (level A 2-baton) Maddy Ross (level B 2-baton) and Sarah Doherty (level B 3-baton).
Silvers went to Lily Gibbes (level B solo and level B 2-baton) Lilly Gibbes and Maddy Ross (level B pairs) Cassidy Doherty (level A solo and level A 3-baton) Alyssa Weatherbee (level B solo) Samantha O Reilly (level B artistic twirl) Kasey Bretherick (level A 3-baton) Morgan Dixon (level B artistic twirl) and the Heartline team (level A).
Bronze medals were won by Chantal Sutton and Mackenzie Ross (level A pair) and the Paint it Black team (level A).
It s been a great year for Sarah Doherty who was awarded the Canadian Baton Twirling Federation junior athlete of the year at the national championships which were held at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre in Oshawa. There she won gold in duet A silver in 3-baton B1 bronze in solo dance A.
Seven Camaros teams delivered medals including gold by Favourite Things (juvenile A small) Paint It Black (junior A small) Heartline (senior A large) and Frozen (juvenile B small) silver by Ruby Blue (junior A small) and Gaga (senior A large) and bronze by Aha (senior A small).
Other national champions for the Camaros were Xander Bain (men s solo B1) Lily Gibbes (solo B1 and 3 baton BN) Mackenzie Ross (duet B1) Natalie Thomson (solo A solo dance B1 and 3 baton BN) and Madison Ross (duet B1).
Earlier in the season coach LeeAnn Wilson and Camaros travelled to Italy for the World Federation of National Baton Twirling Associations championships.
After 37 years of coaching the club Wilson proudly led home her first world gold medallists when Cassidy and Sarah Doherty won the 2015 world pre-teen duet title.
The senior dance twirl team won a bronze medal in Italy as did the juvenile duet of Abby Gibbes and Natalie Thomson.
As perhaps could be expected, the Oshawa Camaros Baton Club turned in an excellent performance at the International Cup competition here with a total of 17 medals earned by these local athletes.
A total of 550 athletes representing 15 countries took in this five day competition of which 104 were from across Canada.
Chantal Sutton Level A 2 baton
Maddy Ross Level B 2 baton
Sarah Doherty Level B 3 baton
Lily Gibbes Level B Solo and Level B 2 baton
Lilly Gibbes/Maddy Ross Level B Pairs
Cassidy Doherty Level A Solo and Level A 3 baton
Alyssa Weatherbee Level B Solo
Samantha O Reilly Level B Artistic Twirl
Kasey Bretherick Level A 3 baton
Morgan Dixon Level B Artistic Twirl
Heartline: Level A Group
Chantal Sutton/Mackenzie Ross Level A Pair
Paint it Black: Level A Team
Rockets from Baton-Twirling Rookie to National Champion Status
PORT HOPE -- A nine-year-old girl s first trip to Walt Disney World is a big deal.
It s an even bigger deal when she returns from Mickey Mouse s headquarters with six awards in an international twirling competition.
Charlotte Grimshaw from Port Hope has more dedication to her sport than most adults. As a competitive baton twirler, she s carving an impressive career since taking up the sport six years ago.
Following in the footsteps of her grandmother and mother, Charlotte picked up the baton at age three and hasn t looked back. When she s not in the gym practising her form and technique, she s waiting until her next trip to the gym to practise her form and technique.
I don t have many days off, she said with a large smile. Some Sundays I have off.
Charlotte practises with the Oshawa Camaros Baton Club in Oshawa Monday nights, Wednesday nights, and occasional weekends. When she s not in Oshawa, she s practising at St. John s Church in Port Hope. She typically practises 15 hours a week on top of school and homework.
She does individual work with them and is on a team, her grandmother, Elaine, said.
In a span of six years, Charlotte s rocketed from baton-twirling rookie to earning national champion status.
In February, she made her first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida and finished fourth overall in the beginner category and brought home a total of six individual awards from different events.
I m glad I got fourth, she said. It was really fun, because I also got to go on rides at Disneyworld.
The talent pool at that competition was much larger than typically seen at Canadian competitions. Usually, Charlotte s up against 10 to 20 competitors in her division. At the Walt Disney World competition, she was up against about 50 competitors from across North America.
It was terrific, because there were a ton of kids, her grandmother said.
Just recently, Charlotte returned from the Canadian championships held at Waterloo University. She was crowned the Canadian novice juvenile two-baton champion for a second year in a row. She also finished second overall in the beginner juvenile Miss Majorette of Canada championship.
While she was thrilled to take home fourth place overall in the Walt Disney World competition, she expected to do better in the overall category at Waterloo University.
I was a little disappointed, Charlotte said. I was OK with it. Second s not that bad.
She did, however, finish first for a second year in a row in the two-baton category. That s when twirlers use two batons rather than one to perform. Charlotte s a fan of the two-baton technique, because she finds it challenging to perform when both hands are busy twirling batons.
You have two batons and do lots of tricks with both of them, she said. It s fun because you don t have any free hands.
When scoring, judges primary focus in on the blending of baton and body simultaneously with music.
While proving herself in front of a panel of judges means a lot to Charlotte, it means even more to win over her peers and coaches. In May, Charlotte won the Amanda Corless and Denise Corless-Tremblay Sportsmanship Award from the Ontario Baton Twirling Association. The award has been given out since 2009 to recipients nominated by other athletes.
Charlotte was the youngest nominee this year.
I was shocked she was nominated, Elaine said. She was the youngest one in it.
Elaine believes it s Charlotte s infectious smile and positive attitude that inspires her peers and influenced someone to nominate her for the award.
I ve noticed at practice or a competition someone would come off and Charlotte would see they re upset and she s over there cheering them on, Elaine said. I think it s great. I m so proud of her. I just stand back and glow and smile.
The keen eye coordination and athleticism of many athletes varying in age was showcased in so many forms during the Canadian Baton Twirling Federation Championships staged at Oshawa’s Durham College throughout the week.
A total of 240 participants representing seven provinces took over the gymnasium facility and with the competitions from perhaps freestyle to the team competition and Grand Nationals in the end, a host of other awards and acknowledgements were recognized from the volunteer of the year to individuals who had dedicated so many years to launching a baton club from seed level and watching it bloom as exactly what did occur in Winnipeg.
Long years of service as a judge to one chap very emotional with the recognition bestowed on him gained a standing ovation from the huge throng of onlookers in the seating area.
It was a time for everyone involved to shine. From Natalie Thomson, 11, of the Oshawa Camaros to Matthew Johnson, 20, of the Toronto Tornados, this was the opportunity for all participants of all ages to put polish to their routine in a bid to impress the judges.
Sarah Doherty, a resident of Whitby and representing the Camaros, copped the national junior baton twirling athlete of the year crown in 2014 based on a point structure accumulated throughout the campaign.
She will be very much involved at the International Cup competition in August at Abbotsford, BC. Ironically, her sister, Cassidy took this year’s junior three-baton award.
The competition included a duet platform and never was art made more refined than the Toronto combination of Matthew and Nicole Johnson, a brother and sister tandem, who wowed the crowd with an excellent demonstration of skill and strength.
Perhaps the best eye-popping exercise was during the team competition with the Sundown Optimist Buffalo Gals from Regina on the floor. With a host of Saskatchewan participants all in sync with their batons, passing off to those close to each other while in dance on the gymnasium floor, the grand finale was one twirler with a sidearm release tossing a baton high into the air and over her teammates.
About half a basketball court away, one other twirler, concentrating on her teammate at arm’s length, suddenly nonchalantly reached up and gathered in the baton tossed the distance of the group, creating a huge response from the spectator area. Translated to football, this would have been a Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Grey Cup winner from quarterback to receiver in the end zone.
Joanne Moser, a litigation lawyer from Regina, serves as president of the Canadian body and is hopeful she will continue this role in the future. Her goal, along with increasing membership and attracting provinces currently not in the Canadian body, is to also increase the male role as competitive twirlers.
“Right now, there really isn’t a role model, although Matthew Johnson has done well at world competitions and he can be a significant role model for us. He’s a contender among other male contenders,” says Moser. “They are really fascinating to watch.”
And as Moser put it so succinctly and indeed it was noticed in Oshawa, the body type of these athletes is immaterial. “There is no discrimination based on body types,” she says. “You can still do the tricks with the baton and do very well. It’s a good sport for many kids.”
By staging a Canadian championship in Ontario, which this year was hosted by the Camaros organization, there is a huge draw of competitors based strictly on population. “Our participating numbers this year in Oshawa is big for Canadians,” continues Moser. “We find that when it is in Ontario, more of the Ontario athletes participate because there is a lot of travel involved with the sport and so you have to decide as a parent where am I going to spend the money.”
This especially holds true with the International Cup being held in Canada. This nation will have the largest baton contingent ever that Canada is sending to an international competition with 104 athletes who qualified earlier in Winnipeg, joining 14 other countries who have confirmed their participation in Abbotsford.
July 3rd 2015
Checking out the historical sites like the Coliseum in Rome, Italy
proved to be a memorable experience for participants and coaches of the
Oshawa Camaros Baton Club on the crest of a bona fide class competition.
In regards to Cassidy and Sarah Doherty, capturing a world championship in duet was unquestionably the crowning touch.
Hours of commitment and dedicated training paid off as the sister duo
from Whitby brought home gold at the World Federation National Baton Twirling
Association Championships, accomplishing a flawless performance during a
two-and-a-half minute performance.
It marks the first time since 2003 that a Canadian team came out of a world baton twirling competition with a championship. Ironically, the local club was locked in with a Georgetown baton organization to claim top honours 12 years ago..
Cassidy, 14, and Sarah, 12, took the bronze medal three years ago in
Switzerland and with an additional three years of training together, they
maximized their skills with music this time around to impress the judges.
"The overall competition was really good over a couple of days," notes Cassidy, a student at Henry Street High School. Competing in nine other events during their time, Cassidy earned a top eight in each event. "I was happy with that."
The club as a whole claimed a bronze medal.
"My mom was the twirler and that's how we got started," adds Sarah, who took top eight in seven of eight events. "I was five and my sister was seven. She got us right into it."
A combination of competition mixed in with seeing the sites has made each nightly practice worthwhile," adds Sarah, a student at Whitby Shores Public School. "Absolutely. It was a lot of fun and the overall experience was amazing," she says. "Seeing the sites after the competition was really cool."
The demands of duet competitions culminates in a series of exercises
on technique, performance, unison. It can get the butterflies going before a
crowd of onlookers, in particular a series of judges. "It's a world
competition and you do get a bit nervous, but once the music starts it's up
to us to perform to the best of our capabilities," says Cassidy.
Canada, basically comprised of Ontario and twirlers in Nova Scotia, have fared well across the ocean, notes Camaros head coach LeeAnn Wilson.
It started in 2003 in France when the senior Canadian duet captured
gold. "That was the first time we heard the national anthem being played and
it was a thrill," recalls Wilson.
Her daughter, Kyla Wilson, scored a silver medal three years later in Holland and in 2009, the Canadian corps did not fare well in Belgium.
"This was a particularly good year for us (in Italy)," adds Wilson,
who at one time was a high level baton twirler and is an inductee in the
Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame. "All 10 girls we had there made finals in
everything they did. That was a first time for us."
Camaros are also members of the World Baton Twirling Federation and will be competing in its playdown next month in Abbotsford, British Columbia with the world competition next year in Sweden.
The Camaros are also playing host to the Canadian Baton Twirling Championships, beginning Sunday, June 28 at Durham College.
One would be hard pressed to find the pomp and pageantry in Canada that goes with a drum and bugle corps - highlighted by the presence of majorettes tossing their batons high into the air - a dazzling spectacle more identified south of the border at keynote universities like Kentucky, Duke and Villanova.
But make no mistake, the Canadian Baton Federation
provides hard-fast rules and regulations in all categories in sync with
international standards, thus providing all competitors with nothing short of a
professional base to ply their skills.
One such noted club in the Durham Region is the Camaros Baton Club, based in Oshawa and established in 1977 by another former competitor, LeeAnn Wilson, a 2007 Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame inductee.
The championships and rewards of this club's rich
history are plentiful and 11 current members are hoping to add to their
hardware showcase later in the week at Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy.It is the home
to this year's World Baton Championships, an event held every three years at
Through the committed coaching of Wilson, including her daughter and former competitor Kyla Wilson, the experience of competing at an elite level against the best in the world and perhaps even gaining notoriety with a medal will serve as a bookmark feat.The path to the worlds is not gift wrapped. Rather, a competitive qualifying showdown took place at Conestoga College in Kitchener and the results even surprised the coaches, says Kyla Wilson with a laugh.
"We had a couple we knew for sure would qualify.
But yah, there were a few pleasant surprises," she says, "and they are about to
realize this is really going to be a big experience for them." The four-day
competition will be April 2-5 comprising of singles, duet, dance twirl and
twirl team. There is also a twirl coarse comprising of 10 or more athletes on
the floor at one time, but the Camaros will be engrossed in the other events.
Kyla Wilson took up the sport at only four years of age and following a succession of success with the baton, elected to help her mother as a coach. Her introductory to a world championship occurred at 14 years of age in Japan. And her involvement to the world stage will be Wilson's fifth visit. However, this will mark her first as a coach. And she notably realizes the mandatory preparations required to succeed in competition, be it of a local nature or on the world stage.
"We train four days a week and during the March
break, we've been in the gym for four hours every day," she says. "We try to
give them as many opportunities as possible to go out and compete. We were in
Maryland (earlier in the week) and they competed against a lot of the American
athletes who they will be meeting in Italy."
While many twirlers in the United States showcase their skills and camaraderie on a university level, the Canadian girls are perhaps lower key, but every bit as important to their regimen. "Many of our girls, once they finish competing twirling competitively, get involved as judges or they come back and share their love for the sport though the coaching side of it. We're really lucky on that front. We get them to stay as long as possible in different capacities." Chantal Sutton, 18, of Whitby will be making her third visit to a world competition, having competed three years earlier in Switzerland.
A student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in the kinesiology program, Sutton learned at an early age what sport fitted her talent.
"Well, I got involved in twirling through a friend
and I really took a liking to it," she says, adding with a laugh, "I knew I
wasn't going to be a dancer or especially a hockey player like my dad wanted me
to be. "But competing like I do gives me an opportunity to see a lot of places. It's interesting
and exciting. Eventually, I would like to become a coach in the sport and maybe
judging at some point."
Her success as a top six in seven events earned at the competition catapulted Sutton to Canada's top athlete in Switzerland.
demand to send athletes and coaches internationally comes at an expense. A financial
expense, that is. "Fundraising. A lot of fund raising," says Wilson with a
laugh. "And it's not easy. Our Ontario body doesn't have a lot of funding to
help us like they do in Alberta where they manage to get a ton of funding .We
have a weekly bingo and chocolate sales, that sort of thing. And, of course,
there is out of pocket money as well. But we are growing as a club and it's all
Camaros are staging a competition April 25 at the Clarington Secondary School in Bowmanville which will unquestionably serve as a nifty tune-up for this year's provincials in May, to be held at Oshawa's Durham College.
Oshawa's Camaros Baton Club Golden at Nationals
September 7th 2014
OSHAWA -- The Camaros Baton Club recently turned in another winning performance at the Canadian baton twirling championships, which were held at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
Passing the baton
September 10th 2012
LeeAnn and Kyla Wilson of Oshawa share a love of twirling
What began as a nice way for a mother and daughter to spend some time together has developed well beyond the expectations of LeeAnn and Kyla Wilson.
In fact, if you listen to LeeAnn, who was inducted into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 for her accomplishments in baton twirling, her 20-year-old daughter has almost left her in the dust.
"When she turned 12, she just decided this was something that she really wanted to do," LeeAnn says of Kyla, who had first ventured into the sport at the tender age of two. "Never mind it was mom's thing first, it was going to be her thing now. And she has just far, far exceeded anything I could have imagined. She has taken my success as an athlete and doubled it." (For full article visit: http://www.newsdurhamregion.com/article/137320)
Club wins Group Challenge Cup at nationals for sixth time
September 10th 2012
The Oshawa Camaros Baton Club enjoyed another fantastic season, winning the Group Challenge Cup for the sixth time at the Canadian Baton Twirling Championships in Edmonton.
The award is given to the club in Canada that has accumulated the most number of points earned from results at provincial and national championships.
The judges rewarded the Camaros' group routines with many high scores and fabulous comments. The club entered seven group routines and came home with four gold medals, two silver and one bronze. Every gold-medal routine came with the privilege of competing in the coveted Grand National Event to choose the overall winner, and this year the Camaros' Seasons of Love group won the Grand National title. (For full article visit http://www.newsdurhamregion.com/article/135413)