Baton Twirling team begin its bid for national championships - and have made a plea for help with new costumes

Marquettes Baton Twirling team from Ely Back: Lucy Towler, Jasmine Garrod, Elissa Knott, Talia Jorda

Marquettes Baton Twirling team from Ely Back: Lucy Towler, Jasmine Garrod, Elissa Knott, Talia Jordan, Yazmyn Evans, Freya Hewitt & Megan DaviesMiddle: Amelia Harrison, Alice Cook & Charlotte DaviesFront: Kayleigh Porter, Scarlette Burton, Grace Meadows-Flint & Anne-Marie Mussard. - Credit: Archant

Marquettes Baton Twirling team are busy training to take part in a regional competition and have made a plea for help replacing their costumes some of which are 15 years old.

Girls from across Ely and the Fens will be competing against teams from East Anglia on their journey to the 2017 National Championships in solo, pair and team events.

Charlotte Louise Cornish, of the group, said: “This is one of the biggest teams we have ever taken to a competition! We are hoping to repeat our success of the 2015 regional competition and continue our winning streak we have achieved so far in 2016.

“This year we have been fund raising like crazy to replace our old costumes, some of which were easily 15 years old and are currently seeking sponsorship from around the area to help us in our quest to replace team costumes and equipment.

“Baton Twirling is one of those sports that bridges the gap between athleticism and artistry. The athletes have to have stamina, flexibility and strength, but also need to be able to express their personality, create feeling and atmosphere within their performance.”

The event marks the debut competition for Anne-Marie Mussard (7), Amelia Harrison (12) and Talia Jordan (11). As well as a return to the competition floor for the rest of the team including current 2016 Area Champion Soloists Charlotte Davies (12) and Scarlette Burton (8), our third area champion soloist Mia Pilkington (10) will be missing this competition due to a knee injury sustained earlier this year, however she will be fighting fit ready to take her place in the team for the February competition.

“Twirlers need to have twirling technique combined with dancer and gymnast skills, it takes a dedication and hard work and thankfully our team have put in the time to learn - they even take their batons on holiday with them!.

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“Baton Twirlers never really get an off season like other sports do; we have been hard at work learning new tricks, technique and routines since returning from nationals in March.

• If you would like to try out baton twirling and cheer leading contact their Facebook page, email or message the coach on 0755-4424008. Girls come from across Ely and The Fens.

• Classes are Tuesdays 6-8pm at Downham Market Academy for beginner classes and Thursdays 6-8pm at Downham Market Academy and Sundays 10-2pm at Littleport Leisure Centre for competition classes.

• They compete on Saturday 17.