Kids signing up for baton lessons in Langdon this fall got to see where big dreams can take them.
When registration took place for the class Alyssa Crispin teaches Thursday nights at the field house, she brought with her a bronze medal from the 2017 International Cup this summer.
The Langdon-raised 23-year-old picked up bronze in the adult class for three-baton during the competition in Croatia, a staggering achievement considering the depth of the field.
While Crispin spends a lot of her time teaching baton twirling, she isn’t done with her career in athletics and she just hopes to inspire the next generation of kids. Showing them the hardware that a virtual lifetime of dedication to her craft is a good step.
“The brand new kids don’t really understand the gravity of it,” Crispin said. “They think it’s cool because it’s a medal and they want to win a medal. If you work hard you can win one too, but the older kids in the competition stages understand all the work that went into it.
“I had to qualify within the country, then had to go three rounds, a preliminary, semifinals and final, just to get that far. Because it was international, that makes it that much more exciting.
“Everyone wanted to see the medal. I was carrying it around for two weeks so everyone got a chance to see it.”
Crispin did well overall at the competition aside from the podium finish. She qualified for the final in three of her four routines, making the top 10 in each of them. She was 12th in artistic twirl, finished 10th in two-baton and was fifth in solo.
There were more than 900 athletes from 19 countries at the event that takes place every second summer. This is the second time Crispin has attended the International Cup, with the first one being in Abbotsford, B.C., in 2015.
This year’s event went extremely well, and it was the trip of a lifetime as she was able to spend 16 days total in Croatia and Italy.
“I definitely set out with low expectations because there was going to so many people there,” Crispin said. “I was just going to go and have a good time and enjoy the experience. It was a pleasant experience to see how well I did in the end.
“It’s one of those experiences I won’t ever forget. It was such a whirlwind of everything.”
Crispin also teaches out of the Centripetal Force Baton & Dance Club in Southeast Calgary a couple of days a week while training herself another couple of days and also working full time.
She’s preparing now for another competitive season in the new year, with nationals in her sights for Winnipeg in July. There will be plenty of events leading up to the summer finale, and Crispin is hoping to have one of her own.
“I actually am looking at hosting a competition in January,” Crispin said. “It will be the first thing that I’ve done where I would be the competition director. It would be a really good fundraiser for our club. I’m looking at doing that.”
While baton is generally a younger athlete’s game, Crispin isn’t ready to let go of it just yet. The success this year has only deepened her interest in the sport.
“Every time I go to the international club I think maybe I will retire,” Crispin said. “Every time I go I keep wanting to go again. I’m thinking of maybe trying France in 2019. Part of me wants to stick it out for a while. If you end up going to five international competition, you can get a five-year certificate.
“Baton’s so unique and not everyone has heard of it. It’s not like soccer where everyone has seen it. If I tell people that I do baton, they might not know what it is. I like that it’s so unknown. It’s my hidden talent.”