WESTERN KENTUCKY — The Pennyrile All-star Panthers Gymnastic Team is on its way to ‘America’s Got Talent.’

According to Lee Ann Flener, coach and owner of Pennyrile Gymnastic in Madisonville, the team will appear on the popular national televised talent competition on Nov. 5.

“We have talented students from ages five to 15 in our program,” Flener said. “This particular team competes in cheer leading. They do a two and half minute routine that is what I call fast and furious. It is nonstop movement.

We have participants from Hopkins, Muhlenberg and Webster Counties. I have no idea how ‘America’s Got Talent’ found out about us, but I’m glad that they did. One possibility is that last year we did get a full paid bid to go to the U.S. finals in Virginia Beach. There are very few full paid bids given out, so it was a huge honor. Another possibility is that we did do the pregame show for the Harlem Globetrotters last year in Evansville. I was contacted by email and the only real details I have are that we will appear on Nov. 5 and it will be on national T.V.”

The Pennyrile Gymnastic team will perform again next year during the 2015 globetrotters appearance at Ford Center in Evansville on Jan. 18. Flener said her interest in gymnastics began at an early age, watching the Olympics on television.

“As a young girl I was always just glued to the T.V. when the gymnasts were competing,” Flener said. “But it really didn’t have to be the gymnastics. I just loved watching all of these great athletes compete. I guess it inspired me to do what I do.”

2014-2015 competition for the Pennyrile Panthers began this past weekend, according to Flener.

“We just finished our first competition of the season, and oh, what a day,” Flener said. “Our youngest squad took first place even though one member was sick. She still performed. We were so proud. The youth squad got second place in spite of the fact that one member was not able to attend. Our junior squad got first place, even though we had lost one member just before the competition. It was really a miracle. The junior squad went on to win the grand championship competition. That night taught me to never throw in the towel.”

Pennyrile Gymnastics is located at 52 Bassett Avenue in Madisonville. According to Flener it is the oldest and most trusted gymnastics training facility in the area. They have served Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Caldwell, Christian, Webster, McClean and Henderson Counties for over 15 years. Their USA Gymnastics Safety Certified Staff totals over 40 years of professional coaching and training.

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