Baton twirling Beth: do not feel oppressed

Being a world champion at seventeen years old, Beth Barber is obsessed with Sport. Studying law and Crime, Beth engages in many University Sports teams. She is the development coordinator for Lacrosse and is a part of Cheer, Rowing, and Yoga. She has also been a part of archery, football, speed skating, and trampolining pre-university. Her main sporting passion, however, is baton twirling, in which she has competed regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Q. What is baton twirling and what do you like most about it?

It is gymnastics with a metal stick. People think it’s like majorettes, but baton twirling is more gymnastics based, you can do illusion tricks which is based on speed and power.

I most enjoy the training, working together alongside my team of mainly women, but, as of now, four men as well.

I’ve won 22 national titles individually, I don’t know how many titles we’ve won as a team. We enter four events a month and hopefully we always win four events. It’s probably been above fifty since I’ve joined. Then, I’ve won Europeans and world championships. Europeans was a year and a half ago and worlds was three years ago, so I was 17 years old. I still compete regionally, but I pulled out of competing nationally because it is so time consuming.

There are new categories for disability also, so it’s becoming more inclusive.

Q. Do you have any female inspirations?

There’s two Americans who baton twirl that have inspired me. The first is Savanna Miller, who is a strong solo baton twirler. Adeline Bebow, another inspiration, always won an event called Extra—a solo event based on flexibility and ability where you have to do gymnastic moves in beat with the music. I wanted to be just like her in that event, and gradually started to win the event more and more.

Q. What have you done so far for TKGC and empowering women?

I used to teach lots of different sessions for baton twirling, I still teach a few times a month. I’m also leading sessions for This Kent Girl Can lacrosse, which is on this Sunday (28th October), so everyone should come to that.

Getting involved is key not only for physical health, but also mental health. Everyone should get involved. I feel I have empowered women through all my different sports, encouraging females to get involved and not feel oppressed in a male dominated field.