submitted by Kim Genton
Its always a pleasure to share what the Ontario Board has been doing over the past year.
Our vision as a board is to serve the membership in our province with opportunities for growth
and challenge. I do appreciate the volunteerism the people in our province have shown over
the last year to accomplish this goal.
At present, Ontario has 105 - A members, 19 - B members, 64 - BR members, 48 - C members, 27 - D members, 28 - E members, 11- G members, which is 262 members in total.
The previous year Ontario had 97 - A members, 27 - B members, 100 - BR members, 47- C members, 27- D members, 21- E members, 22-G members, for a total of 288 members.
Over the two years our overall membership has decreased predominately in our recreational area. This is worrisome because this is the area our growth as a sport stems from.
We say goodbye to our membership person Lisa Ross this year. We thank her for all her efforts in membership as well as her outstanding decorating skills. She has been a wonderful volunteer. Please welcome our new membership coordinator Connie Worship. Connie brings with her a great deal of baton volunteer experience and we welcome her to our board! Connie will be reaching out shortly to the membership on information about completing our membership registration. Please note, our membership form has a positive change on it this year. Our recreational membership fee is only $5.00! We are hopeful that all coaches will register their recreational students with this low fee. Lets get our numbers up!
Events offered by OBTA
The OBTA board supported three events in the 2015 -2016 season financially and with Board manpower.
- OBTA Baton Day clinic was an event that was open to our full membership. We had out of town, and local coaches, sharing their expertise with our athletes and coaches. Stephanie Hewis organized an excellent badge test day that was supported by many of our clubs with enthusiasm. Jennifer Meron, Catherine Lemyre, and Kyla Wilson offered a “What’s New” for our coaches and judges so that everyone was aware of the technical changes for the coming season. We had a parent’s meeting where we answered questions, shared ideas and talked about goals for our province. This is the event of the season that focuses on building momentum for all involved in the sport of baton twirling. At this event we lost $389.79.
2. Rising Stars day in February was a new event targeting our pre competitive membership
and senior athletes. Our purpose was to offer a “gentle step” into the competitive arena for
our pre competitive athletes by setting up a “mock” competition day. Fun prizes and lots of
of positive feedback made this day a super success! Using our senior athletes as “pretend”
judges, turned out to be a great idea. We gave them an opportunity to experience the
judges position, while at the same time being mentored by a senior judge. Senior
Athletes shared their ideas on routine construction, overall technique and gave performance
tips for each program. This type of mentoring project provided the support and enthusiasm
for our senior athletes to look ahead and have the confidence and support to stay involved.
Our thanks to Laura Thomson and Stormi Buntsma for helping with the prizes and lunch for
the athletes, and Leigh Anne Yawlak for the lovely blankets that she designed and sold as a
fundraiser for OBTA.
At this event we lost $1181.83
3. Ontario Championships has been run by our technical chair, Jennifer Meron. From
beginning to end the needs of the athletes and coaches are always thought of first.
Jennifer takes the lead on this project by being responsible for organizing the structure of
the competition, the financial budget and the delegating of jobs to the Ontario Board. It is a
large undertaking, involving many moving parts, and I believe Jennifer runs this event with
perfection. OBTA provides the manpower with the help of our clubs. For many attending it is
the highlight of their season. Judges Rep, Catherine Lemyre, started the championship with a
Provincial Judges Update for all of our Provincial Judges, which was very well attended. Our
Provincial T shirt design, which was organized by our Provincial Athletes Rep Sarah
Weir, brought some fun into the mix along with her great job on our provincial video. These
extra’s, along with our merchandise booths organized by Leigh Anne Yawlak , our coaches
room organized by our coaches rep Kyla Wilson, our lovely annual awards organized by
Lee Ann Wilson, and championship awards organized by Tonya Lee made the Ontario
Championships a special memory for the athletes! All board members helped in some way
and I appreciated all of their efforts. A very special thanks to our “all weekend” volunteers,
who are not on the board, Michelle Bretherick, Jeff Johnson, Mathew Johnson, Janice Tabb
and Mike Federchuk. We are very appreciative of all you do! OBTA’s profit was $103.94 on
These three events were OBTA’s large undertakings and will continue to be our focus this coming year. To add to these major events, Kyla Wilson offered two well organized coaches courses that prepared our “Coaches of the Future”. Catherine Lemyre hosted the pre comp webinar, designed the OBTA T shirt contest logo, as well as the medals for the Canadian Team Trials. This logo design was used for the logo on our Canadian Team clothes worn in Sweden at the World Championship! Congratulations to both young woman for doing an excellent job providing services for our membership.
OBTA hopes that the Facebook pages that are geared to athletes, coaches, club directors and judges, provide continuos support for our members with up to date information. Our thanks to Kyla, Catherine, Sarah and most importantly Jen Meron who has daily provided us with interesting pieces of sporting information as well as necessary information in baton. Our website that is managed by Sheryl Baraniuk is the structure of OBTA, providing all the information, forms, and guidance one needs as a member. Use it often and contribute to its offerings, if you have something to share. Our thanks to Sheryl for managing this area. Effective communication is essential as we all have such busy lives. This year all information will be sent out and distributed to our membership through our secretary Pauline McKnight and posted on our website. All of the e mails are sent from our Ontario Baton account. Contact Pauline to make sure you are listed in the right areas for mail distribution. - secretary for OBTA.
Sanctions in Ontario are managed by Kim Nicholson and done in a timely manner. Kim is very flexible and works to support our coaches and event organizers. We all appreciate this a great deal. Although sanctions are done in time, this year in particular, coaches had a difficult time getting their insurance certificates for many school boards and community centers for the September first deadline. OBTA raised the idea this year at the CBTF meetings to see whether or not the insurance certificates could be completed earlier. This was going to be looked into by Beth Swain, the cbtf insurance person, however,this week I called Peter Yeh and discussed this situation so I could have some information for our meeting. Peter strongly felt that he now had an insurance company( we have a new provider) who will be able to confidently make the timeline without further issue. I will pass on any information CBTF provides.
Information about the International Cup Qualifier and the Pan Pacific are complete, and will be posted on the CBTF website very soon. Ontario does have some athletes attending both events which is very exciting. If I can be of any assistance with either of these events in regards to information, dont hesitate to contact me.
Our treasurer, Tonya Lee, works diligently throughout the year on maintaining the financials of our not for profit organization and we all appreciate her efforts. She works with a financial committee that reviews her procedures twice a year. This committee is made up of Michelle Bretherick and Jane Weir, both individuals who work in the private sector in the accounting field. Tonya will be bringing to our meeting some good news about some acquired money for our province from CBTF!
The year ahead starts next month with our Baton Day! Michael Harris from Ohio is coming as our guest along with some other excellent coaches. We are busy planning an excellent event! Hope to see all the clubs supporting our annual Baton Day event.
Our Ontario board meets regularly throughout the year to serve the membership. This year we have several new people coming on board which means we all need to be patient through their learning curve. My thanks to Jennifer Meron and Kyla Wilson for all they have done in their positions, and I look forward to working with our new people once our elections are complete.
We welcome their passion and volunteerism with open arms! Looking forward to another year.
Kim Genton, OBTA President.