Last Wednesday, UO AWSM had the pleasure of hearing from the women of TrackTown USA: Sasha Spencer Atwood (director of external affairs and TrackTown Tuesday host) and Jessica Gabriel (director of strategic communications). Here are our five takeaways from the event:
1. You never know where your path will take you. After her professional running career, Sasha became a chef, where she would consult and cook for professional athletes in Atlanta, Georgia. Through this experience, she got the opportunity to work on the set of The Blind Side. Ultimately, Sasha’s career path came to a point where she had to decide whether to continue this passion or start a family in Eugene.
2. As the host of TrackTown Tuesday, being a former runner for Georgetown serves Sasha well. She spends a lot of time researching athletes, looking at their social media to find out more about them and comes up with creative questions for her role as the show’s host. Sasha said it is rewarding to see one of her questions resonate with an athlete when she interviews them on stage.
3. The sport of track and field is “starving for better storytellers.” Not many people are telling the stories of the sport’s athletes, or if they are the work is not accessible. TrackTown USA’s goal is to give people more than what they can read in an article.
“There is no other stand alone company that is dedicated to the fundamentals of track and field like TrackTown USA.”
4. Jessica stated that it’s important to have a diverse background. If everyone looks the same, the work will reflect that. TrackTown USA aims to incorporate different voices and goals to create better content.
5. Never underestimate the power of an opportunity. Having people who challenge and believe in you is how you grow. Learn how to ask for help and have people in your corner!
“It’s important to be in a position that continues to challenge you, but it’s also important to be challenged by the people you surround yourself with.”