|MBE for Audrey in the New
Year Honours List
‘a very special award for a very special lady’
The President of the BBTSA, Audrey O’Neill, has been awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours List in recognition of her services to children. Audrey is well known and loved within the Association she chose to support and champion some 35 years ago when Baton Twirling was virtually unheard of and Majorettes was the ‘in thing’ that young people wanted to be involved with. Since those early days Audrey has gone from being a troupe leader, through all the ranks of the BBSTA, to holding the position of President of our Association.
Audrey first became involved with the youth of South Ockendon when her son belonged to a boys band and she became the secretary 36 years ago. When girls were not allowed to take part and with having two younger daughters and many of the boys having sisters she decided along with her husband Tom to start the Thurrock Bellettes a majorette club this was 34 years ago. She became region 2 competition officers when the assoc became rationalised 32 years ago and then became national competition officers in 1979 attending her1st world championships in 1981. She was a great supporter of the Cup of Clubs being introduced and attended the European meeting in Perth when it was decided to introduce the competition and the Bellettes coached by Jenny South took part with Jane Cooper and Adele Wallace as the English judges. She attended last year’s cup of clubs with the Bellettes once again taking part and also went to the worlds championships in Rome. She has taken great joy in watching all athletes competing and has always been a fantastic supporter of our sport. She has been involved in many groundbreaking changes and seen our sport grow from the majorette origins it started from into the artistic and highly skilled sport it is today. Our sport owes much to the likes of Audrey and the many wonderful volunteers who have worked to hard over so many years.
I am sure that all within the twirling world will join us in heartily congratulating Audrey on her award, which is so well deserved, and thank her sincerely for the all the years she has given to children involved in baton twirling!
We’re all very proud of you!