In a Ping Recreation Center gymnasium, a group of women can be found vigorously throwing batons in the air one after the other in a seamless routine.
Bobcat Twirlers is a new student organization at Ohio University. Currently, the group is made up of 10 women, who are looking to perform at men’s or women’s basketball games, local parades and eventually want to compete at local group competitions around Ohio.
OU originally had a twirling team some years ago, but there was no push to keep it going, so it ended up dying off. It wasn’t until earlier this semester that Sherri Scott decided she would coach a twirling organization if there was enough interest to start it back up.
“When my daughter started going to OU, she and a couple of friends she twirled with decided they wanted to start back up a twirling group and wondered who else was here that might be interested,” Scott said. “We found out that OU has many talented twirlers with some type of competitive background.”
The Bobcat Twirlers currently have four twirlers who have competed in world championships, some of which members have won. There are also four women in the organization who are local twirlers from Athens County.
“It’s a really good mix of very good and accomplished twirlers,” Scott said. “I’m excited to see how it mixes together.”
With the amount of talent and skill Bobcat Twirlers’ members have, the organization’s ultimate goal is to represent OU in the National Collegiate Twirling Championships by the end of next summer.
“We’re going to see what we can do this year, but that would be the first time OU has ever had a team compete in the collegiate championships,” Scott said.
For now, Bobcat Twirlers is not an organization that requires a time-heavy commitment, but an organization that lets whoever wants to twirl get to do that and have fun expressing their passion.
“As long as the interest is still there, I can see myself coaching after my daughter graduates,” Scott said. “I’ve loved the sport, it’s something I did before I had my daughter, and I’ll definitely stay involved.”
Miranda Scott, a sophomore studying interior architecture, has been twirling her entire life and is looking forward to what the pilot season will bring for her and the group.
“In the fall season, we’re getting to know one another, how we work together and what we can do,” she said. “But I’m expecting good things, I missed being in a group so I think it’ll be fun.”
Scott is a member of the Marching 110 and recognizes that there will never be a twirler a part of the marching band because of tradition, so having Bobcat Twirlers is something she believes OU needs.
“There’s a lot of twirlers in the world, and I know a lot of people who don’t want to go to OU because we don’t have a twirling position, but if there’s a well-known organization from OU, maybe they would consider that instead,” she said.
Cayla Caviris, a sophomore studying management information systems, joined Bobcat Twirlers because she’s been super involved in twirling her entire life.
“I just love it, and it has been my passion. It’s kind of all I’ve ever known,” Caviris said. “I think every school should have a twirling team because it’s something a lot of people actually do. It’s just something really cool and gets people involved.”
Sara Stufflebeam, a freshman studying psychology and sociology, has been twirling for almost 10 years and is looking forward to sharing the art of twirling with other students of OU while being a part of Bobcat Twirlers.
“Twirling is a way of expression for me, and having this passion so close to home while also getting to share that love of twirling with other people is important,” she said.