Local twirlers off to World Championships
One is a seasoned veteran and the other is a rookie, but both will be representing Airdrie on the world stage next month.
Sara Black and Taelyr Patton will compete at the World Baton Twirling Federation’s World Championships in Paris, France, Aug. 2 to 5.
It will be Black’s second appearance at Worlds.
Her first was in 2010 in Bergen, Norway, where she placed fifth in the freestyle baton category.
She has also competed at two International Cup competitions in 2009 in Sydney, Australia, and last year in Jacksonville, Fla., While the international experience has helped ease her nerves heading into Paris, it will be her first Worlds competing as a senior, which she said brings an added challenge.
“(The previous experience) does make it a little easier,” she said.
“I’m a senior, so I’ll be competing against people I haven’t before. That will be different.”
The senior division is more open and competitive compared to the junior level, which is what Black previously competed in.
The senior division does not have an age limit, so Black will be competing against older and more experienced athletes.
It’s the same case for Patton. Like Black, Patton, 17, is competing as a senior and is no stranger to the international stage.
She competed in the International Cups in Sydney, Jacksonville and Limmerick, Ireland in 2008.
However, this year’s World Championships will be her first.
“I’m really excited to go,” she said.
“Since I’m on a team, I get to travel with other girls who have been to more World competitions than I have, so it’s a different experience. It’s also a much bigger competition, so I’m excited about that.”
Patton is part of a Trans Canada team, a seven-member squad made up of twirlers from across the country, including Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick.
Patton said the distance has made team practices a challenge. The group has only practiced 15 times, but she is confident in herself and her teammates.
“We’re a strong team and I think we’re going to do well at this competition,” she said.
“We work really well together and I’m glad I got to be on the team because it’s a really good experience.”
Loren Dermody, who has coached both Black and Patton for 10 years, said she is proud of Patton for making the Trans Canada team and both girls are prepared for the competition.
She added competing in the senior division will be a challenge for both of them.
“Sara’s strengths are her twirling and her tricks,” she said.
“It’s her first year as a senior, so that will be different. We don’t know what to expect, so all we can do is be prepared.
“Taelyr is a great teammate and she’s well prepared. She’s taken everything in and gone to all the practices. We’re all well prepared.”