Baton Twirling Tournament Coming to Ocean Center
6 Jul, 2021
After an unprecedented year in which athletic competitions across the country and around the world were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Twirling Association (USTA) is thrilled to host nearly 800 athletes for the 2021 U.S. National Baton Twirling Championships, July 6-10, at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. The competition will run from 8 a.m. to approximately 8 p.m. each day and is free and open to the public.
“It has been two years since our nation’s twirlers have competed together,” said USTA President Karen Cammer. “For months, our athletes have trained alone, worked with their coaches via Zoom, practiced while wearing masks and maintained physical distance from their teammates.
Like the rest of society, the twirling community has experienced deep loss, but the 2021 National Championships are a testament to the perseverance and resilience of the human spirit.”
Male and female twirlers from 32 states who range in age from four to adult will demonstrate their skills in the National Championships, which is a competition for advanced and elite athletes, as well as the Festival of the Future, a competition for novice, beginner and intermediate athletes. In both competitions, athletes will compete in individual and group events, including:
? Solo – an exciting event using one baton which is rolled, flipped and tossed around the body and yhrough the air at great speed
? 2-Baton and 3-Baton – highly difficult events using two or three batons which must be kept moving at all times
? Strut and Artistic Twirl – beautiful but demanding events combining twirling with dance and gymnastics
? Teams – the crowd will be on its feet as groups of twirlers perform synchronized twirling and challenging exchanges
Highlights of the National Championships include the National Collegiate Finals, featuring many of the nation’s top collegiate twirlers, which will begin at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 9. The Collegiate Finals will be followed by the National Finals Show, beginning at approximately 8:30 p.m. also on Friday, July 9. The exciting Team Finals will be held at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 10. All finals will be held in the Ocean Center’s Main Arena and are free and open to the public.
“Our finals events feature the nation’s top sport baton twirlers,” said USTA President Cammer. “They are athletes who train like Olympians and demonstrate amazing athleticism and incredible artistry. I know Daytona Beach sports fans will enjoy seeing them in action.”
Experts say the sport of baton twirling promotes eye-hand coordination, 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.
During the 2021 U.S. National Baton Twirling Championships, USTA is holding the first-ever USTA Heart Toy Drive, to benefit pediatric patients at Daytona Beach’s premier hospital, Halifax Health. Twirlers and their families from across the country will donate small toys, games and art supplies, which will be donated to Halifax Health.
“USTA is honored to support Halifax Health and its young patients,” said USTA Board Member Jennifer Marcus. “The USTA Heart initiative was created to give back to the communities that host our National Championships.”
Three of USTA’s past Grand National Champions will perform for Halifax Health patients at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6. They are Bower Sarra, 2019 Men’s Solo Grand National Champion, Laney Puhalla, 2019 Strut Grand National Champion and Savannah Miller, six-time Grand National Champion in Solo, Dance Twirl and 3-Baton.
The 2021 U.S. National Baton Twirling Championships will be the seventh championships USTA has hosted in Daytona Beach since 1991.
“We are excited to return to one of the world’s most famous beaches,” said Cammer. “Our athletes and their families love being able to go from the competition arena to the beach in a matter of minutes. They also enjoy the city’s hospitality, history and family-friendly attractions and amenities. After more than a year of staying home, we are thrilled to be heading to Daytona Beach!”
For more information about the sport of baton twirling and the United States Twirling Association, visit www.ustwirling.com.