About our National Executive Committee


President - Audrey O'Neill M.B.E.

Chair - Nicky O'Neill - nicky@bbtsa.co.uk

Hi, I am Nicky O'neill and Chair of the BBTSA. I am married to Stuart and have 2 sons, Lewis and Harry. Harry is the most well known of my boys as he attends so many twirling events with me, especially the WBTF international competitions each year and he loves coming to the BBTSA annual Twirl Fest, a highlight of his year meeting up with all his twirling buddies without the stress of international competition. My brother was in a boys band which would not allow girls to join. My mum, Audrey O'neill MBE, as the band secretary at the time, pleaded with the bandleader to let girls join especially as she had to young daughters and the majority of the band members had sisters. He suggested she start a majorette troupe to entertain the girls and that was it, life was forever changed and twirling took over the O'neill household. This was 1974 and the Bellettes were formed with a £100 donation from my dad Tom, my mums number 1 supporter and one of the greatest supporters of the BBTSA. After a few years the Bellettes formed their own band and for a while I took part in both, but eventually the band took over, to many competitions clashed so I had to choose. But I loved working with a mace, continued twirling anything in my hand and never lost contact with twirling.

At 17 I came back to twirling to help out coaching and never looked back. I qualified as a BBTSA coach, judge, clinician, CETB International Judge and International clinician. I love ever aspect of the sport, I still coach each week and judge when I can. I served on the BBTSA technical committee for 11 years under the leadership of Pam Sheldrake, who educated me in all aspects of the sport, a truly fantastic teacher. I took on various roles - convention coordinator, Technical Advisor for England, a true honour and then eventually Technical Director, before being elected the Chairperson back in 2008. I have now been the chair of the BBTSA for 5 years, I've had the privilege to work with so many dedicated people on the NEC, regional officers and everyone connected with the sport. The time and effort they all put into the sport I love has been truly inspiring. I have so many amazing memories from this wonderful sport its impossible to mention them all but some of the outstanding ones are

  • The Youth on Parade march past down the Mall in London to celebrate the Queens Silver Jubilee.
  • Appearing on the front page of the Sunday Times, outside the Albert Hall in London waiting to perform.
  • Being present at Buckingham Palace when my mum received the MBE on behalf of her involvement in the sport of baton twirling.
  • Coaching so many super athletes and watching them perform, from the local fun competitions to European and World Competitions
  • Working as a coach with the National Squad and all involved, both athletes and coaches.
My life has been truly blessed by this sport, it's obviously in my genes via my mum. There are so many exciting things to look forward, most notably the 2014 WBTF World Baton Twirling Championships in Nottingham, England. In true twirling style WOOHOO, I cannot wait.

Vice Chair - Ann Roberston M.B.E - ann@bbtsa.co.uk

Ann has been involved in Baton Twirling since Jo-ann was 11years old and decided she wanted to join the sport. For many years now she has been organising the Scottish International squads and is the current Vice President of the Scottish Federation of Baton Twirling. Ann is a Judge/ Clinician and coach with SFBT /CETB & Judge/ Coach with BBTSA. She is a member of BBTSA Region 18. Outside of Baton Twirling Ann Chairs her local Credit Union and works tirelessly as a volunteer in her community. Ann was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen at the investiture for her Birthday honours by being invested as an MBE, recognising her services to the community. A big part of this is Ann's involvement with Young People in her area not least of whom have been Baton Twirlers. Ann is delighted to be part of the organising team for Worlds 2014. The recent addition to her family of a wee granddaughter is taking up all her spare time. Eilidh is her pride and joy although, Ann believes this one is shaping up to be a real tomboy and uses her Baton as a golf club.

Treasurer - Val Towers - val@bbtsa.co.uk

Secretary - Tony Pratt- secretary@bbtsa.co.uk

Tony says....I have been involved with twirling in Scotland for many fantastic years. Back in the last century, I was videoing twirling classes and training at Crookston Castle where Irene and David Wood taught. In those days we needed 500 watt flood lights for the camera to work! I first videoed a world championship in Milan 1983 and have since attended European and World championships throughout Europe, Canada and Japan. With technical input from BBTSA and SFBT we developed the collation system used for the European Championships in Perth, Scotland 1988. My involvement with the SFBT eventually led to taking on the role of Secretary, a position which greatly improved my communication skills.
More recently I have been involved in the implementation and development of European and World collation systems.
The world championships 2014 in England was brilliant fun. Learned a lot from a great team.
In 2016 I was blinfolded, walked the plank and jumped into the role of Secretary of the BBTSA.
Looking forward to this new chapter and the challenges ahead.
I am currently employed in 1st Alliance credit union as internal audit.
Other interests are Integral psychology, hill climbing (especially near distilleries), teaching (IT, maths, english).

Competition Director - Joan Fisher - joan@bbtsa.co.uk

My name is Joan Fisher, I am have been married to Mick for 48yrs we have a daughter Trudi who has been a twirler ,coach and Judge for the BBTSA. She is married to Mark and they have 3 children. Mick and I live in Thurrock in Essex. I have been a active member of the BBTSA since 1992. I started in Region 2 with my club Silver Sapphires. I held several positions in the Region Training Officer then Competition Officer and Treasurer when Region 2 amalgamated with Region 1 we became Region 12. In October 1986 I was asked if I would like to become assistant to Audrey O'Neill who was the National Competition which I did. In 1987 I was voted on the NEC board as a full member and took over as International Competition Officer and worked very closely with Audrey till her retirement in 2012. I then became Competition Director and have two assistants Theresa Goodwin and Elaine Wilson.

Public Relations Officer - Liz Wheeler-Smith - liz@bbtsa.co.uk

Hi, My name is Liz Wheeler-Smith and I am very happy to have the opportunity to act as a PRO for the BBTSA. My partner Kev and I have been together for just over 10 years and I have two daughters. Both the girls keep us very busy with their various activities but we wouldn't have it any other way. I work full time as a Training Co-ordinator organising a busy training centre as well as promoting our courses at various events throughout the UK and Europe. I became involved with baton twirling together with my daughter Amy and have been actively involved at various events for the past 9 years. Albeit this is a relatively short period of time by comparison to other members of the Board, it has seen me during that time become involved in various aspects of the twirling world. For the past four years I have been the Secretary of Region 15, been a Club Leader, led the fundraising efforts for the National Squad and also assisted in the travel arrangements for the National Squad for various International Competitions. I have also had the pleasure of attending at several International trips with the England Squad as a supporter and more recently as a chaperone. It is truly a wonderful experience to be part of and as the excitement builds for Worlds 2014 in Nottingham I am privileged to be part of the Board to assist in anyway I can to be part of its success.

Administration Officer - Peter Hewitt - peter@bbtsa.co.uk

Peter says... "I first became involved with the sport when a neighbour was twirling in their garden and our daughter Kathy, then aged 4, was transfixed, this was 1986. Since then I have has the pleasure of travelling to many a local, national and international competition supporting the wonderful sport of twirling. Kathy stopped twirling in 2005 But I have continued working on the board as admin officer and as the "music man" at our regional and national competitions. I hope to continue to offer my support for as long as possible and am looking forward to the world's here in the UK in 2014. Good luck to everyone and I hope you achieve all that you possibly can in the sport of twirling."

Membership Officer - Michelle Beech - michelle@bbtsa.co.uk

Michelle says... "Hi! I first became involved in Baton Twirling in 2006 after my daughter Aisha gave up dancing and decided to try twirling. From twirler mum, avid supporter, travel organiser, Club Leader, chaperone to the England Squad at International competitions and now Membership Secretary, I have enjoyed every moment. I am very lucky to have travelled to Ireland, Australia, America and many European Countries with the BBTSA. Apart from working full time as Chief Financial Officer to 2 companies in the City, I also own a small Dancewear business supplying Pineapple Dancewear, Bloch dance shoes and tights and twirling accessories. It is an honour to work with the other members of the NEC to ensure this great sport continues to grow and to support our amazing athletes in their twirling careers."


Those appointed to the Board are

Technical Director - Jo ann Robertson - jo-ann@bbtsa.co.uk

Jo-ann has been involved in Baton Twirling for over 20 years, first as an athlete, then as a coach and judge, and now as Technical Director of the BBTSA and European Judges Chair of the WBTF. As an athlete Jo-ann was British Open Champion 5 times and a European silver and bronze medalist. As a coach her athletes have made the final of the European Championships, European Grand Prix, and her team won bronze medal twice at the European Cup of Clubs. Jo-ann's focus is now on the technical side of the sport. She has judged at European and World Championships, and has served as the European Judges Chair for over 5 years. Outside of twirling Jo-ann is a public relations consultant and enjoys shopping, shoes, and musicals.

Twirl Fest Organiser - Zoey Flesher - zoey@bbtsa.co.uk

Zoey says... "I have been involved in the sport of twirling since the early 1980's and have had a variety of amazing experiences during this time. As an athlete I gained British champion titles and competed and represented England individually, in pair and team at the world championships . I became a coach and have had great success with several of my students also reaching national champion status, overall champions, British open championships and both junior and senior women competing at the European and work championships. I have also coached and provided choreography for teams and groups for European and Cup of Club Championships. I then became a domestic and international coach and clinician for both the BBTSA and the Wbtf. I have been a technical board member for over 10 years and am passionate about the development and success of our people and our sport. I love being part of such an amazing association and will always cherish the good times we've had and what I will experience with my friends and colleagues in the BBTSA in the future!"

Assistant Competition Officer - Theresa Goodwin (co-opted) - theresa@bbtsa.co.uk

Theresa says... "I was bitten by the twirling bug from a very young age, starting as a majorette. Twirling has given me so many opportunities to meet all kinds of people, building lasting friendships around the country and some great memories! My twirling life certainly keeps me busy! As well as being Assistant Competiton Officer and our Regional Competition Officer, I am also a qualified Professional Coach and Judge. I help coach at our National Squad sessions on a regular basis and am passionate about bringing forth the next generation of athletes from a grass roots level. We have enjoyed so fantastic trips with the Squad in recent years, the athletes are great fun to be around and a credit to our association in their professionalism and drive. I am really looking forward to having the World Championships in England next year, it will be an amazing opportunity for so many of our members to able to experience twirling at it’s utmost best!"

Sponsorship Officer - Ann Cullum - anncullum@bbtsa.co.uk

I have been involved in Twirling for 25 years & my whole family is devoted to the Sport. Our home is constantly filled with twirling music & I find it hard to remember a time before Baton Twirling became such a massive part of my life!
My two daughters Sarah & Claire train the Angels & are also trainers with the National Squad. Recently they have joined the BBTSA Technical Committee. My son Steven, known to many as “ Boy Cullum” loves travelling around the Country & to International competitions with us, chatting to all the lovely athletes! I am Club Leader for the Angels with athletes ranging from the age of 4 to 22 & we are proud to be part of the BBTSA. We are constantly encouraging new athletes to join our exciting Sport & are one of the 10 Clubs in Area 4. So many fab experiences & memories over the years – the ultimate was being involved with the England Group when they collected the Bronze medal in the World International Cup in Florida in 2011. A truly amazing & unforgettable day - followed by a superb holiday with our athletes & families in Orlando. The craziest experience remains our annual trip to Nationals – the poor Premier Inn can’t believe the whirlwind that hits them when our Army invade with their Batons! Working as Sponsorship Sales Manager at a Premiership Football Club, I deal with Corporate clients who are keen to promote their businesses through Sport & Football. As a minority sport we have not been able to achieve the same level of help through Sponsorships, but this year with Worlds being hosted in the UK it will give us an ideal opportunity to promote our fantastic Sport. A very busy but exciting year ahead!


Members of the World Baton Twirling Federation

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