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International baton competition twirls into Alberta

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Some of the best young athletes in baton twirling will be in Alberta this weekend for the 2024 Pan Pacific Cup Baton Twirling Competition.

The event runs from Friday to Sunday at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex in the hamlet of Priddis, just outside of Calgary.

The competition will draw roughly 300 people from across Canada, Japan and the USA.

"It's so nice for all of these athletes to have the opportunity to compete and be together," said Sandi Wiemers, World Baton Twirling Federation president.

"It is pretty amazing and it's a discipline that takes a lot of practice."

Competitors ranging in age from nine to 25 will show off their skills in multiple disciplines to judges before champions are crowned on Sunday.

Events range from solo one-baton routines to team competitions with up to three batons.

"It's tricky, that's for sure," Hawaii contestant Jax Scott said.

"You have to put in a lot of time and practice and dedication."

"I like the way I get to challenge myself and try something new," Airdrie twirler Paige Boyd added.

"It takes a lot of work, but it's also really fun because you get to meet new friends and have amazing experiences all the time."

The Alberta Baton Twirling Association is hosting the event, which is the first of its kind since 2020.

It proceeds the sport's world championship this August.

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