Within the past two weeks, Kentucky Spirit Athletics (KSA) has represented Harrodsburg in Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Kentucky Spirit Athletics is an all-star cheer and gymnastics center in historic Harrodsburg off of Morris Drive. In their first year of operation, Owner Madison Karsner is generating success, bringing not one but two of her teams, Silver Stars and Black Ice, to the Summit competitions in Florida.
The Summit competitions are a sought-after experience and goal for cheerleaders nationwide. Karsner, a native of Boyle County, grew up cheering in the same facility she now owns. At the time, it was known as Allison’s ld have imagined,” said Karsner.
Switching roles to now being a gym owner and head coach of all the teams, classes and other amenities that train within the gym walls, she wants her athletes “to love cheer, love each other and love the ones who make their success possible,” she said.
Karsner said she wants to teach her students “how to be a good teammate. This is a life skill they will need throughout all life endeavors.” Cheerleading instills this because “all athletes on the roster have to do their job. In cheer, there is no sub if someone rolls their ankle in the middle of a performance, or if someone is sick, the show must go on, and those athletes still compete.”
Silver Stars, the name of the level one youth team invited to the youth division of Summit, is made up of 23 athletes, all under the age of 12, and three coaches, Madison Karsner, Payton Wardner and Madison Teague. They were one of five teams in the state to represent the gym and the community at the first-ever Youth Summit cheerleading competition in Tampa.
“For those not involved in the cheer world, the Summit is comparable to the Super Bowl at the NFL level and comparable to the baseball World Series. To perform at this event, you must receive an invitation and battle your way through rounds (wild card and semi-finals) to advance to the final day, where teams are judged and ranked,” said Karsner.
Each team faced challenges they had to overcome to get to this point in their season.
“Some of the challenges that this team has had to overcome is learning that each and every person has a very important role,” said Wardner.
Karsner added, “This team was a very young team. The athletes started the season at ages 6 to 11 years old. On top of their young age, this team of 23 athletes was all brand new to elite cheerleading.”