Twirling their way onto the podium


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/09/2015 (2629 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Two local athletes are pretty fond of the colour bronze at the moment.

Yonatan Orlov and Sara Sabeski were part of the provincial baton twirling team that represented Manitoba at the World Baton Twirling Federation’s International Cup in Abbotsford, B.C. last month. The team is made up of athletes from two different clubs — Greendell (St. Vital) and Aerial Fusion (East Kildonan and Transcona). Head coach Dana Peteleski lives in St. Vital and coaches out of Greendell.

Orlov came home with bronze medals in three categories — Junior Level B 2-baton; Junior Level B 3-baton; and Senior Level B artistic pairs with Sabeski, who won bronze medals in two categories — Senior Level B 3-baton; and Senior Level B artistic pairs with Orlov.

Supplied photo Team ‘Toba Phantom — Back row, from left to right: Trinity Starr, Sarah Cimino, Yonatan Orlov, Nikisah Hendrickson-Alexander and Milana Schipper. Front row, from left to right: Jennifer Parisian (from East Kildonan), Laura Tymchyshyn, Rhaychelle Tan, Sara Sabeski and Meghan Stanger.

Orlov, who attends Glenlawn Collegiate and lives in Sage Creek, trains up to 20 hours a week in baton and dance. He is a former gymnast, who only started baton twirling four years ago and has progressed rapidly through the ranks.

St. Vital resident Sabeski attends the University of Winnipeg and wants to become a gym teacher.

Jennifer Parisian won a bronze in the Adult Level B 2-Baton category.

Team ‘Toba Phantom also landed a bronze medal in the Level B Group category. As well as Orlov and Sabeski, the medal-winning team members included Milana Schipper; Sarah Cimino; Laura Tymchyshyn; Nikisah Hendrickson-Alexander; Meghan Stanger; Trinity Starr; Jennifer Parisian; and Rhaychelle Tan.

A week later, Orlov also competed into the Grand Prix competition, which is by invitation only. He was the only Manitoba athlete invited to take part.

“Winning bronze at the International Cup was an incredible achievement for me, and a great experience. It felt really nice to have won four bronze medals for Canada,” Orlov said.

“The Grand Prix is an invitational competition that was held right after International Cup at the Abbotsford Centre. It was a two-day competition that brought baton federations together.”

Orlov said he got his first taste of twirling at a school talent show in Grade 6 — and it wasn’t long before he was exhibiting his own talent on the baton circuit.

“There was a group of girls doing baton and I really wanted to try it out, so after the talent show I asked one of the girls to try it out and I liked it, so I started to practise during lunch breaks. That’s how I got into it. Gymnastics helped me out a lot because baton involves dance, gymnastics, and baton twirling, so it was nice to have one (discipline) checked off,” he said.

Orlov said being one of only a few male twirlers in Canada has both its advantages and disadvantages but that statistic doesn’t appear to have affected his progress in the sport.

“My future goals are to represent Canada at the worlds. Also, I want to become a coach and eventually a judge for baton,” Orlov added.

To learn more about baton twirling in the province, go online at
Twitter: @lanceWPG

Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
Community Journalist

Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at or call him at 204-697-7111.

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