User menu

WBTF Board Representative Spotlight on Bernadette Doyne, President BTSAI Ireland

WBTF wishes to spotlight our member representatives to the Board of Directors during the next few months.  We thank each of them for sharing a little information about themselves and what their goals are for the future in baton twirling.

The Spotlight is on Bernadette Doyne, President of BTSAI Ireland:

Country & Name of Federation: Ireland. Baton Twirling Sport Association of Ireland

1. When and how did you get involved in baton twirling? *
The Association was started in 1973 and was then called Twirl Ireland. Ireland had the usual sports, football, rugby and the national compilation of sports under the directorship of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Our local community decided to have a week of activities and wanted a band and some majorettes to lead a parade to start the week off. The chairman of the committee having failed to secure and band and majorettes from another area thought it might be a better idea to set up our own instead. As no one had any idea of how we should go about it they approached my husband Syl Doyne who was an army veteran, because he had the experience of marching and maneuverings from his army days and that would be our starting point. I was drafted in to help with making uniforms and acting as chaperone, and so it all began. This was suppose to be a one off event, but the group was so well received by the public that other committees were asking to have them perform at local fetes. So he then decided to enter them in the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade. There were other groups from all over Ireland taking part and Syl felt that this was too good an opportunity to miss to expand this great activity for the girls to pursue and so he approached these individuals about the possibility of coming together to set up and association and so Twirl Ireland was born. He spent a lot of time writing to other clubs in England and the USA looking for coaches who would help with the progression of our members and eventually he found the WBTF. The rest as they say is history. I became the reluctant board member as he was too busy coaching and planning new things for the association.

2. What leadership positions have you been part of in your country? *
Syl is our founder. I have been secretary and became president in 1996

3. How long have you represented your federation in the WBTF? *
I attended my first meeting in 1982 in Milan, Italy, when Ireland applied for and received membership and have been there ever since.

4. What do you believe is your strongest asset as the WBTF representative of your federation? *
As a very small country who are punching way about our weight I feel I have the passion to fight for what's best for our members. I contribute to the meetings and try to see things from a different angle, possibly playing devils advocate more often than I like to.

5. What do you envision for baton twirling in your country in 10 years? *
With a very young, vibrant executive committee who are all ex-twirlers, most of whom have competed at World Championship level, we are hoping Ireland will be in a good place under their guidance going forward. Unfortunately, this pandemic looks like it will do some serious damage to us over the next year or two but I'm confident we can recover from it.

6. Do you have an occupation outside of baton twirling? *
We have both been foster careers since 1995 and put a lot of time into the children in our care.

7. Tell us a little about yourself … (i.e. family, pets, hobbies, awards, interests, etc.) *
We have three children, all of them have twirled and represented Ireland at WBTF World Championship. One of our daughters is a member of the BTSAI executive and a tutor for our sport with Sport Ireland, who control all the National Governing Bodies of Sport in Ireland. We are very proud of our son David who was elected to the ETC of the WBTF in 2020. We have two foster children, two brothers who are teenagers who were abandoned until we took them in almost two years ago. No pets, We like to go walking and are members of our local community council. Syl is also a member of the Irish United National Veterans Association as he served with the UN peace keeping forces in the then Belgium Congo in the 1960s

8. What is one thing that no one in WBTF knows about you. *
Probably that while I'm more than likely the longest serving member on the WBTF board, I'm also the most reluctant one. That Syl is the real driving force behind our association and our membership of the WBTF, and while I am very proud and humbled that the WBTF board of directors saw fit to bestow the title of honourary member on me in 2017, I feel it is an honour that should really have gone to him because I feel he is much more deserving of it than me. If it was not for his drive and persistence baton twirling would not be at the level it is in Ireland today.