Go girls: stepping out with the next generation of Coleraine Twirlstars

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In their pomp they dazzled audiences across the country with their talent and glamour - and were the pride of Coleraine.

When they began more than 20 years ago the Coleraine Majorettes - later to become the Twirlstars - became famed for their unique baton twirling and choreography.

And now founder Sean Magee has brought together a team to re-establish the group which in its time saw hundreds of girls enter the entertainment spotlight.

Sean decided to kick-start the Twirlstars again when he was asked why their photos no longer appeared in the local press.

In an interview with The Coleraine Times this week, Sean said: “It was back in the 1990s when Sharon Weir and myself decided to start the Coleraine Majorettes.

“It wasn’t easy as baton twirling groups didn’t exist in Northern Ireland, so we brought in one of the best coaches from Scotland, Chic Wilson and his friends.

“In a short time the Majorettes appeared in the BBC Hearts of Gold programme and went on to compete in their first ever competition in the Isle of Man, winning virtually all the various categories.”

Eventually the group’s senior members moved on to form The Coleraine Twirlstars and became well known for their unique style of dance twil and disco performances.

As well as enjoying outstanding successes in competitions all over Ireland the Twirlstars also brought a new dimension to the Coleraine pantomime chorus.

Sean added: “It seemed to me a pity that all of the time and effort that had been devoted to the Twirlstars over the years that it had come to an end.

“At various times when I met Anna O’Kane or Joan and Emma Gaston I wondered if the Twirlstars could be revitalised before it’s too late.

“So I decided to meet with the ladies and see what we could do.

“Since news went on Facebook of our meeting we have been very encouraged by the interest shown and messages of support from clubs in Dublin and Scotland.”

Sean still has around old 100 Twirlstars costumes stored at his home, adds: “We only know too well the work required to get the group functioning and back to the level that it once competed at.

“As a sport, baton twirling needs dedication, a degree of gynmastics ability and an ability to dance.

“We are looking for people who can offer these abilities and also those who can help us to build up the Twirlstars once more. We need adults or teenagers to help out.

“At the moment where we will train the group has yet to be finalised but we would hope to get everyone together to start in September.”

Any interested in the new Coleraine Twirlstars please contract Sean Magee on 028 703 43440; Anna O’Kane 07708782420; Joan/Emma Gaston 07941624067 or check out the group on Facebook.