How many nine-year-olds can officially say they are “The Best” at something? Findlay baton twirler Marie Kershaw can, having received the All-Around Championship Gold Medal in her division of the Amateur Athletic Union Olympic Games this summer.
In addition to the All-Around gold, Marie also took gold in the one-baton and multi-baton events, took silver for the X-strut event, and won bronze for the parade strut. She even got to lead her fellow Ohio baton competitors during the opening ceremony parade.
Marie was born in Tallahassee, FL but has lived in Findlay since 2008. She is the daughter of Steve and Josephine Kershaw, and first became interested in twirling at age 6, partly because she could out-perform her four big brothers. In addition to her wins this summer, Marie has won competitions in ten states. Her regional first-place ranking in July qualified her for the recent AAU Junior Olympic Games—her first wins at the national level. Marie aspires to one day compete internationally.
Despite bumps along the journey, Marie has worked hard, training with coaches Holly Biller and Betsy Earl at BW Twirlers in Carey, OH. The BW Twirlers won several awards in a national Drum Majorettes of America competition. When she’s not twirling batons—or pencils, twigs or other objects—Marie enjoys swimming, piano, crafts, and family travel. She is home schooled and in 4th grade. Though appreciative of wins like those at the AAU, Marie also values hard work. She says, “Practice is where you earn trophies and medals; competitions are just where you collect them.”
Since 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has promoted its ideal of “Sport for All, Forever,” as the largest not-for-profit, volunteer organization in the US dedicated solely to the promotion and development of amateur sports. The 2015 Junior Olympics Championships were held in Virginia Beach, VA from July 30 to August 8. For information on the AAU, visit aausports.org.