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This article was published 16/7/2018 (1113 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It’s hard to keep a good twirler down.
That certainly seems to be the case for Linda Boyd, a longtime baton twirling coach, who was recently recognized for her achievements in the sport at the Canadian Baton Twirling Championships that were held at the Investor’s Group Athletic Centre at the University of Manitoba from July 2 to 5.
A day earlier, at the opening ceremonies to the championships that held were held on Canada Day, the Southdale resident — a longtime coach of the Winnipeg Tempo Twirlers based out of Winakwa Community Centre — was presented with the Lynda Garland Award for Excellence in Coaching, which is a Canadian Baton Twirling Federation award.
On top of that achievement, Boyd was also acknowledged for coaching a Canadian team in 1983 that won Canada’s first medal at a world championship, which was held in Milan that year, and that history-winning team had the honour of bringing out the flag at the recent event.
"It was Canada’s first medal at a world championship," Boyd said, noting Canada competed against nations such as the U.S., Japan, and Italy at the event. "It was 35 years ago, and I still think of it as an outstanding accomplishment."
Boyd, who has been involved with the sport since she was in Grade 8, said winning the award was a big surprise, and that she was "thrilled and shocked to pick up the award. As well, Boyd gives her husband credit for keeping the accolade secret from her and not spilling the beans in advance.
She keeps in touch with the members of the 1983 medal-winning team, and has dinner with some of them on a regular basis. It’s this type of camaraderie, and connectivity to individuals involved in the sport, that keeps the fire burning for Boyd. As well, she continues to delight at watching the development of her charges.
"I still love the athletes. I enjoy their progression, and I enjoy the fact they’re off the streets, safe, and engaged, which I know a lot of parents also appreciate," Boyd said, noting the average age range of her students is three to 30.
She is also happy to help dispel any myths or misconceptions about the sport, not least the idea that baton twirlers only generally march in parades.
"Twirlers today need to know how to dance, and they also need to know about gymnastics, so there’s a cross-section of skills and talents involved. Baton twirling takes a lot of practice, timing and skill, and I’m thrilled to have been involved in the community."
The Lance community journalist
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Canstar’s senior reporter, he joined the team in June 2009 to write for The Sou’wester, which was then the new paper in the Canstar family.