May 13, 2009
With the support of her parents, Courtney Musgrove was able to open her own business.
For three years, the 22-year-old, Mississippi University for Women student has operated the Full Out Tumble and Cheer gymnasium.
The gym, which is in Columbus, provides students with opportunities to learn tumbling, cheerleading, and All-Star cheerleading, a competitive form of cheerleading.
Musgrove started the gym because there wasn''t a gym in Columbus that provided both sports. Her goal was to provide All-Star cheerleading in the area and expose more people to the sport.
The gym recently earned a lot of exposure as three of its teams placed in the top five at the Cheer Tech All-Star Competition in February in Tupelo. Full Out took first in the Junior Division, second in the Mini Division, and fourth in the Senior Division.
"I was very excited and proud," Musgrove said. "They did great considering they were a newer and smaller team compared to the other squads in the competitions they have been in."
Courtney and a team of coaches teach kids as young as 3 the basics of tumbling and cheering. Nearly all of the more than 100 athletes who attend the gym are girls or young women. They range in age from 5-18 and are broken into several divisions (minis, 5-9; juniors, 10-14; and seniors, 15-18).
Catherine Martinez, 11, loves the friendships she has built at the gym. Her favorite thing when performing is "stunting with Mike and Jared," she said.
Not only do the students like the relationships they build, the parents also like the friendships and the skills their children develop.
Elizabeth Malone, the mother of 9-year-old Darby Malone, likes how the parents and squads support one another.
Most importantly, she loves the "Christian values" Courtney instills in each girl.
"She works really hard to instill these values," Malone said. "That''s her motto, to be full-out soul for Christ."
The gym is involved in cheering competitions all across the region, including a Full Out tumble and cheer competition it plays host to every year.
Next month, Full Out will hold tryouts for an All-Star cheerleading competition that will be later this year.
"Those who make it are placed on teams based on their skill level," Musgrove said. "There are six levels in All-Star cheering, and your team is based on that level."
Musgrove is also working on a non-profit organization that will allow young girls with intellectual disabilities to participate in cheerleading. Even though she is comfortable with her gym in Columbus, Musgrove hopes to expand her business in other areas.