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All of a twirl as Runcorn Pied Pipers celebrate

All of a twirl as Runcorn Pied Pipers celebrate 40th anniversary with successes at national Classic Championship

A mum and her daughter have both scooped top awards with Runcorn Pied Pipers majorettes at the Great Britain Baton Twirling Association’s Classic Championship in Blackpool.

Pied Pipers Troupe Leader Tracy Whitlow twirled her way to two titles in the ‘Military Freestyle’ and ‘Pom Leader’ categories while 16-year-old daughter Billie danced off with the award for best ‘Pom Mascot’.

The event, staged in Blackpool over the weekend of March 25-27, signalled the start of what hopes to be a very successful competitive year for the talented troupe who are celebrating their 40th anniversary. Launched in 1982 by Troupe Principal Lea Kirk, the Pipers use The Heath Business & Technical Park in Runcorn as their training ground where they rehearse and construct their routines during the closed season ready to compete against troupes from all over Great Britain.

“This year is a special one for Runcorn Pied Pipers as we celebrate our 40th anniversary, so it’s great to get off to such a flying start. This is credit to Lea Kirk’s passion and commitment with the support of trainers and fabulous parents who work tirelessly in the background to ensure routines are ready and fundraising events run smoothly. Lea and I are so proud of each individual who dances, and it is amazing to see them get the recognition they deserve,” says Tracy who is also The Heath’s Conference Centre Manager.

“I love how the majorettes bring people together, and the happy little faces on the children when they win is what it’s all about for me,” adds Tracy, who teaches a troupe of dancers aged ten to 15 years old. “It’s hard work but very rewarding.”

Tracy and the Runcorn Pied Pipers are always looking to recruit new members and will continue to perfect routines for the remainder of this year. They hold classes for everyone aged from two years old in their Baby troupe, all the way to Seniors, for anyone aged 15 or older.

“I have been dancing since I was nine. Now I’m 46, one of the older girls in the troupe, and have a lot of lifelong friends from my involvement with the majorettes. My own daughter is 16 and has been dancing from the moment she could walk, and my parents are also involved so it’s a big family and a very friendly environment,” says Tracy. “Joining the majorettes is a great way to stay active and build new friendships, while boosting kids’ confidence and enjoying some very long but fun days out!”

The recent wins build upon the dance group’s earlier accomplishments, including winning the World Championships in the Isle of Man in 1987. More/2

Lesley Lunt, Sales and Marketing Manager at The Heath, said: “Everyone at The Heath would like to congratulate the Runcorn Pied Pipers on another incredible year. We have loved seeing their performances here over the years and wish them continued success in the future!”

Runcorn Pied Pipers, which welcomes girls and boys, train twice a week, on Mondays from 6pm to 10pm, and on Thursdays, for younger children from 5pm until 8pm and older children from 8pm to 10pm. Anyone interested in joining the troupe is welcome to attend a training session.

About The Heath
The Heath Business and Technical Park is a phenomenal regeneration success story. Formed in 2000, its owner and operator, SOG Ltd, has transformed a once single occupancy corporate facility into a thriving independent business park. The Heath now provides office and laboratory accommodation for more than 120 individual organisations, ranging from business services and IT specialists to those at the cutting edge of science, research and advanced manufacturing. Around 2,000 people are employed at the site. For further information, telephone 01928 515988 or visit

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11th April 2022