As they say, all good things must come to an end, and so it is with the highly successful Kootenay Baton Konnection (KBK).
Coach Karen Gratton has recently announced that, due to her husband’s retirement, the Year End Show to be held on Saturday, May 28 at David Thompson Secondary School will be the last.
After 17 years with classes offered from Edgewater to Canal Flats to hundreds of Valley children, and after winning dozens of awards and accolades, KBK numbers will be scaled back drastically as Gratton leaves the Valley to travel throughout the United States for six months, starting in November.
Several students, both recreational and competitive, have indicated that they wish to continue their twirling careers and so Gratton will continue teaching “until we pull out of our driveway.”
Her assistant coach, Ashley O’Neil, will coach until she, herself, leaves to pursue her fire-fighting career.
All is not lost however as a former student of Gratton’s, now a well-respected baton coach and choreographer, Loranne Meek from Calgary, has offered to work with any students who wish to continue.
Thanks to the excellent baton coaching courses available, KBK has four junior coaches who can also coach in Gratton’s absence.
The club will still continue, albeit with a smaller membership, with the support of the KBK Parent Executive.
The Year End Show will be dedicated to all KBK students, past and present, and their parents.
Gratton is extending an invitation to all past members to attend the show on May 28 with doors opening at 6:15 p.m. and the show will start at 6:30 p.m.
Rumour has it that former KBK member and world bronze medalist, Cory Archer, might present one of his trademark twirling demonstrations as well.
KBK hopes that members of the community, who have greatly supported KBK over the years, will also come to watch as it promises to be a very entertaining evening of excellent twirling.
Sixteen baton athletes flew to Vancouver recently to represent KBK at the 2011 BC Provincial Baton Championships and came home with more trophies and medals to add to the list of awards won by KBK athletes over the past 17 years.
The twirlers were accompanied by coach Gratton and several parents who found themselves with a lot to cheer about while the girls twirled their way to the podium.
At the end of the competition, KBK was awarded the “BC Baton Club of the Year” from the Baton Twirling Association of BC Chairperson Denise Dewolff who spoke about the club’s high level of support, volunteering and willingness to fundraise – three of the criteria in determining the deserving club.
Kootenay Baton Konnection