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Dedicated 11-year-old baton twirler competes on International stage

PUBLISHED: 15:40 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:51 16 August 2019

Scarlette Burton at the international cup in France. Picture: Caroline Burton

Scarlette Burton at the international cup in France. Picture: Caroline Burton

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An 11-year-old girl who 'lives and breathes' baton twirling competed in the International cup for the first time.

Scarlette Burton with her coach, Charlotte Cornish. Picture: Caroline BurtonScarlette Burton with her coach, Charlotte Cornish. Picture: Caroline Burton

Scarlette Burton from the Downham Marquettes was selected to compete in the World Baton Twirling Federation International cup held at Limoges in France on Monday, August 5 to Thursday, August 8.

The 11-year-old, who attends Downham Market Academy, was selected for the International cup after a try out for the British Baton Twirling Association England squad.

Competing at an International cup for the first time, the enthusiastic twirler came 18th in the two baton women's junior section and 20th in the artistic twirl women's junior section. Around 1300 athletes took part in the competition.

The Downham Marquees, which was set up in 1999, is run by coach Charlotte Cornish and club leader Caroline Burton. It has 20 members ranging from four to 20-years-old.

6-year-old Scarlette Burton. Picture: Caroline Burton6-year-old Scarlette Burton. Picture: Caroline Burton

Charlotte Cornish, her coach said: "It's just amazing, my biggest dream would have been to compete at an International cup, I knew I could not get there myself so to see Scarlette get there is just so lovely.

"She does all the hard work and goes in there, it does make me nervous because it's my routine that she performs in front of world judges. She's just fearless."

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The dedicated baton twirler, who trains 10 hours a week, picked up her first baton at three years old and began competing at the age of six.

Scarlette Burton at 3 years old. Picture: Caroline BurtonScarlette Burton at 3 years old. Picture: Caroline Burton

Scarlette said: "I like the fact I can travel the country and almost the world, it's different and I like that. Everybody can dance but not with a metal stick in the air.

"I would like to be a world champion someday."

Mrs Burton said: "I can't even tell you how proud I am of her, I cry. She just works so hard for it, she wants it and practices so much.

"She does her homework during break and lunchtime so she can train, Scarlette just lives and breathes baton twirling. In my hallways there's dents in my ceiling because she doesn't stop. She's broken so many light bulbs and even a TV.

Scarlette Burton with the England Squad. Picture: Caroline BurtonScarlette Burton with the England Squad. Picture: Caroline Burton

"She's even encouraged the other girls to learn and do more, the younger girls especially look at her and want to do what she's doing.

"It's a lot of money to carry it on, we had to fundraise to get her to France because it was so expensive, we couldn't have done it if people had not donated and raised money for her."

The group train every Tuesday from 6-8pm at Downham Market Academy and are looking for new members.

For help with fundraising or if you want to join contact marquettes@outlook.com

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