Angel Baton Twirlers from Norwich set to jet off to American competition

Youngsters from a Norwich baton twirling group have been selected to represent England in an international competition.

Three girls from the Angel Baton Twirlers, who meet in Sprowston, will fly to America to take part in this year's World Baton Twirling Federation 2011 International Cup in Jacksonville, Florida. Melissa Bowling, 14 and Lauren Stearman, 17, both of Sprowston and Amber Stewart, 17, of Dereham, were selected to represent England after impressing judges at a baton twirling event in Sheffield.

Ann Cullum, the troop leader, said: 'It's a marvellous achievement to have two girls from Norwich and one from Dereham in the England team, but to have two in the senior competition and one in the junior makes me very proud.'

The trio, who are trained in Norwich by Claire and Sarah Cullum, will join a team of more than 20 England internationals when they travel to the USA in August.

Miss Bowling will compete in the junior competition, where she will have to complete a series of routines including a solo twirl and performing with two batons.

Meanwhile, Miss Stearman and Miss Stewart will be competing against baton twirlers from across the globe in a bid to win the senior titles.

Mrs Cullum continued: 'I think they are going to be a little nervous when they get there because the stadium is bigger than the O2 arena in London and holds 15,000 people. I imagine it will be a massive occasion. They have an opening ceremony, which is similar to the Olympic Games.'

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The event is being held at the Jacksonville Veteran's Memorial Arena from Thursday, August 4 to Sunday, August 7.

If you would like to sponsor the girls on their trip to the competition then contact Ann Cullum on 07884 408414.

Do you have a story for Local Life? Contact editor Donna-Louise Bishop on or call 01603 772438