Stars United Baton Club has been in the sport of Twirling for 35 years. Where and how did it all begin? In 1972 the Richvale Lions Club formed a majorette troupe called the Richvale Lions Baton Twirling Club. From 1972 until 1987 and then 1990-2000 the club was under the Technical Direction of Sylvia Kernohan.
During the early years, the club was strictly recreational and participated in many parades and local community shows. As the years passed, the club grew with over 75 athletes and soon entered competitive twirling. The club competed in many group events winning several Provincial and National Novice Titles.
In 1980 the York Region Chapter of the Canadian Progress Club assumed the service club sponsorship and thus the name "Progress Baton Club" was born. The club had been a shared sponsorship of both the Service Club and the Parents Board of Directors. During the 80's the club continued to succeed in competitions, participated in local Santa Claus Parades and shows. Some of the club's highlights during this period included marching in several Toronto and Montreal Grey Cup parades, a Wonderland performance and several appearances at the CNE grandstand. Throughout this time the club's competitive results continued to soar. In 1985 the club finally broke through as a major competitor, winning the Senior Parade Corps Provincial Title. One of the club's highlights in competition during this time came in 1987 when the club travelled to Regina, Saskatchewan and returned home with several National Titles and top 3 results.
1987 brought a big change for the club, Technical Director, Sylvia Kernohan, and Head Coach, Sherry Magee retired and the club was turned over to former athlete and coach Debbie Greenfield who was a member since the beginning. The club was still growing and still moving upwards in the competition field. Under the direction of Debbie Greenfield, the club continued to travel and each time came home with several titles in hand. Performances and shows continued including a trip to the Toronto Argonauts Football half time performance. The club was flying high and having fun.
In 1990, Debbie Greenfield retired and once again Sylvia Kernohan and Sherry Magee took the reigns. With the 90's came lots of change. The club became more focused on the competitive aspect of baton twirling. The 1990's brought the success that the club had been working so hard for. In 1991 the athletes marched in the Toronto Santa Claus Parade for the first time. Also that year, the club travelled to Florida and participated in the Orange Bowl Parade and the Disney Magic Kingdom Parade. The competitive seasons in the next five years were building. Each year the club would come home both elated at the titles won, but also disappointed at the titles still out of reach.
In 1995, Progress finally sat atop the twirling community. Traveling to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan would prove once again, to be a turning point for the club. During the National Championships the club returned home with the two titles that had eluded them in the past: the Senior Parade Corps and Senior Twirl Corps Titles. Not only did the club win both these titles but it also won the Grand National Title for both events and with the overall standings by all Progress routines for the first time the club was awarded the prestigious "Challenge Cup." This is awarded to a club in Canada for earning the highest point total throughout the season, naming them Best Club in Canada.
The new millennium brought again new change. The club is now under the direction of Technical Director Satyne Ward, an original Progress member since 1977, along with the assistance of a Parent Committee.
In recent years the club began exploring and pushing to new adventures. In 2003 the Sr team travelled to Twirlmania for the first time with 2 Gold members. Since then we have had 1 more member compete at the Twirlmania Gold & in 2007 we brought home our 1st TM title - Megan W. won the Beg X-Strut: another historic moment! In 2004 the club travelled to AYOP and what a first experience we had. Earning 7 top 10 team finishes only gave us the "itch" to return. In 2005 we returned and captured 13 top 10 finishes, including 1 silver and 1 bronze team medal. 2005 also saw Progress make history again by competing at the 2005 CNBTA World Trials where the Senior Twirl Corps became the 1st Progress team to make Team Canada, as well 2 athletes, Lindsay Batarla and Chantel Cole, earned spots on the Juvenile and Pre Teen individual team.
In 2007, after 8 Challenge Cup titles, several CNBTA & CBTF National Titles, 2 World Open Team Silver Medals & 1 Bronze Medal, the club earned its first World titles at AYOP. Three of our members captured the club's first World titles in Novice 7 Solo, Beginner Tiny Tot 2-Baton and Beginner 15 X-strut.
After reaching the top at AYOP the club yet again took a step into the future. September 2007 saw the "Progress" name retire and marked the beginning of a new generation. Stars United was born. The name was given because we believe that every twirler in our club is a STAR and together we will UNITE to create new memories, new goals, and reach new heights.
in 2012 another milestone was reached for the club. The club earned it's first Team to the World Baton Twirling Championships with their Junior Dance twirl- Starstruck Dream On. This team went onto to place 5th overall at the world championships. The club had 4 individuals also represent Canada in Switzerland--with our youngest member Sydney W earning All Top 10 finishes including 6th overall in Juvenile Solo! We are so proud of our Stars that dream big and achieve big.
2012 also saw the club earn an Ontario Trillium Foundation Fund which has aloud us to offer more twirling programs, increase our recreation program and expand to new communities.
2015 saw our CLUB reach another first...our FIRST WORLD Medallists....Congrats to our JUNIOR DUET of Megan W and Jenna C who were Canada's representatives in the Duet division and earning Canada a BRONZE!
2017 Proved to be a year or outstanding performances. Our Elite Team earned 12 spots on TEAM Canada, making it the largest group from Stars United to ever attend a World Championships and for the first time Stars will be representing Canada in 4 Team events!
2018 was a magical year as our World Teams came home with amazing results. WFNBTA SILVER & BRONZE in PRE TEEN & JUNIOR DUET. our Senior Team made Finals placing 4th in the world and our Combined Twirl Corps- Starstruck earned 4th overall. Also we had all 11 individual members make a TOP 10 final in their individual events. As well we are the 2018 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS in 9 team events and over 34 National titles in individuals including 6 Miss Majorettes of Canada.
One of our STARS made history becoming the first CNBTA athlete to win ALL 6 GRAND NATIONAL TITLES!! What an amazing accomplishment.
The club continues to grow and offer a wide variety of programs from recreation twirling in a parade all the way to International Titles. Our hopes are to continue to share our amazing sport of baton with young girls & boys for many years to come.