Have you ever wondered what Grassroot coaches have been up to or where they’ve been since graduating? In this series, we’re following former Grassroot coaches to see the paths they’ve taken and the impact that Grassroots has had on them.
Our first spotlight is on Renée Tomlin, aka Nay, who ran Track & Field and Cross-Country at Georgetown University. Since graduating in 2010 as a French major and Linguistics minor, Renée received her Master of Arts in Linguistics in 2013 with a concentration in Language and Communication.
Renée was involved with Grassroots since the beginning, following the lead from her fellow track and cross-country teammates who were involved in the first program. After attending the first Grassroots Fest 5k, she started coaching the following semester. Renée also played a role in connecting TGP with Georgetown’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and its endorsement as one of the university’s main outreach programs. She said that her best Grassroots experience was “connecting with the kiddos. So much growth takes place over the course of the program, for both athlete & coach.”
TGP was a great learning experience for Renée – some of the lessons and skills she gained include mentoring, coaching, teaching skills, the ability to connect sport to global health, and personal empowerment. TGP has made her more aware of not only health but also health access issues right here in the United States.
These experiences have helped Renée achieve her goals since graduating. After getting her undergraduate degree, Renée was a 2012 Olympic Trials Track & Field semi-finalist(!) and is currently a USA Triathlon High Performance team member. While her career focus has been on the pursuit of sport at the professional level, she is “equally as invested in the global health space that involves sport as a means of empowerment.”
That being said, Renée is working hard to compete in Rio 2016! And on the more traditional professional level, she says, “I hope to align my experience as an elite athlete with work in the greater global health sector.”
Lastly, Renée shared some advice for Grassroots coaches: “Connect with your fellow coaches, your athletes, the entire Grassroots ecosystem. If you can attend domestic or global health-focused events or conferences in the DC area, DO IT! I wish I had!”