Local Lummi Stick tournament celebrates 30 years

Hutton Elementary held it’s 30th annual Lummi Stick tournament on Oct. 10 in the school’s gym.

Performing at Huntton Elementary's 30th annual Lummi Stick tournament were (clockwise from left) Aliyah Clark

Hutton Elementary held it’s 30th annual Lummi Stick tournament on Oct. 10 in the school’s gym.Music teacher Randy Breedveld was the organizer and has been since the event’s inception in 1983.Students, staff and some parents got to see 13 groups battle it out for Lummi Stick supremacy in the hotly contested tournament.Breedveld initially got the idea for lummi sticks from Lorraine Barg, who was the music teacher at Perley Elementary at the time.“She taught me how do some basic throws and catches,” he said. “I introduced it to the kids and it just caught on like wildfire. They just really enjoyed making up different patterns and throwing them back and forth. We got the idea to make up routines and setting them to music.”Breedveld said the program allows kids to be creative. It also mixes elements of music, dance/movement and friends.“The reason I like if for music is it develops hand eye coordination,” he said. “It also develops their sense of the beat, which is important for a musician. It’s part of the music program. It develops their creativity and cooperation skills in a fun environment.”Many of the teams enhance their routines by dressing up and putting make up on. Some teams use props such as cheerleader pom poms and mini-trampolines.The participants start practicing right on the first day of school in September, said Breedveld.“They practice during music classes or at lunch time,” he said. “The principal is very nice and allows us to practice at different locations throughout the school.”Although music students start using lummi sticks in kindergarten, the tournament is for students in grades 5-7. Breedveld says he also sometimes holds a junior tournament for younger age groups. “As the kids get older, they have more sophisticated patterns and more complicated routines,” he said. “It’s traditionally the girls that like it, but more boys are becoming involved.”Breedveld started making his own lummi sticks in 1984, which he sells to the students at a reduced rate.“I either cut up broom handles or use dowling in my workshop,” he said. “I paint them with different designs. I still make them and the kids still buy them. I’m sure there’s lots of lummi sticks still out there. I enjoy making them.” This year’s theme for the tournament was using songs from previous champions.“It was good quality and entertaining,” he said. “There was lots of creativity. The winning team used the Mission Impossible theme and combined it with spy moves and black costumes and smoke machines.”Overall champions: Sophia Plotnikoff, Jasmine Starchuk, Sydney Thomas / Song: Mission ImpossibleSecond place: Jayden LeRoy, Makenna Burrows, Kelsa Leslie and Faith Thomson / Song: Love ShackThird place:  Savannah Menzies & Raelyn Morgan / Song: Good MorningBoys Champs:  Kieran Nordman & Seamus Carlyle/ Song: Are Y’All Ready For This?

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